Mental Health Awareness Week | Forces children and young people should never feel alone

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week theme is ‘loneliness’ and Forces Children Scotland is committed to ensure no child or young person from a serving, reservist or veteran family ever feels alone to overcome challenges to realise potential and thrive.

Far too often young people can feel that they have no one to turn to when they feel alone. Suicide and self-harm are a very real problem which Forces Children Scotland aims to provide positive steps to enhance understanding and support to overcome challenges. 

For the past two years we have all experienced, to some extent, a sense loneliness with what’s happened around the global pandemic. We have faced reduced contact with friends and family and restricted opportunities to do many of the things we enjoy.

Loneliness can be associated with the development of mental health problems in later life and can be expressed in different ways; it can be more strongly associated with elevated symptoms of depression in girls, compared to elevated social anxiety in boys.

Research has shown loneliness was felt more by young people, compared to older age groups throughout the pandemic in Scotland which, put into the context of our beneficiaries, was compounded with the deployment of parents and many other factors.

All of which indicates a strong case for development of services which make a difference to ensuring no child or young person from a serving, reservist or veteran families feels alone.

That’s why Forces Children Scotland works directly with children and young people to co-produce projects and services, like Your Mind Matters, to ensure that they are supported to overcome unique challenges faced as a result of the lives they lead.

We bring children and young people together from across Scotland as much as we possibly can for life-changing experiences to forge new connections, through shared experience, belonging and collective sense of purpose.

We help children and young people enhance their understanding of mental health and wellbeing as well as provide support to overcome unique challenges and prevent challenges in later life in order to realise potential and thrive.

Forces Children Scotland will launch its Your Mind Matters digital platform in June to provide resources to support children and young people better understand and overcome a wide range of mental health and wellbeing challenges, including suicidal awareness and self-harm.

To learn more about Forces Children Scotland’s mental health and wellbeing services, email wellbeing@forceschildrenscotland.org.uk