Investing in stronger mental health

A young person’s mental health is as important as their good physical health if they are to develop into independent and confident adults. Addressing mental health issues is an important element of healthy adolescent development as it helps youngsters build positive social, emotional, thinking and communication skills and behaviours.

In this context, the very first event organised by Ħamrun Ħanin provided a First Aid in Mental Health course to a number of youth leaders in the locality. This initiative was open to leaders who work with young people in football, cultural and social organisations in the locality. Through four intensive sessions, these leaders were given knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to provide the necessary assistance and guidance to support people facing mental health problems.

These sessions addressed issues of relevance for young people including anxiety, depression, panic attacks and similar challenges. However, they also tackled a number of risks associated with teen development including eating disorders, alcohol and substance abuse, personal traumas and so forth.

Once we grow up, wesometimes forget how hard adoloscence was. When we see a kid who is looking miserable before his weekly football match, we might think they choose to be that way – or that it is just part of adolescence. More often than not, they might be in a mental health crisis, one they certainly did not choose and do not want. By asking the right questions – these kids might be helped before the situation gets potentially wore.

Just like physical first aid, timely competent help from a mental health first aider can save lives. Through these four sessions, the locality of Ħamrun has been empowered with a number of mental health first aider to the benefit of its organisations together with its wider community.

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