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When we think about supporting physical health, it often feels clearer what we need to do to get better and that being unwell is not our fault. With mental health though, it can be easy to blame ourselves, feel there is no way forward and forget that our brain is an organ that needs looking after like any other.


Admitting when something is wrong


It can be important to take that first step and identify to someone else that you might be struggling or that you do need extra help or support. This could be through textline/support line who can help get through dark moments and identify some next steps. There also LGBTQI+ specific support lines.


You can text shout on 85258

You can phone Samaritans 116 123


For LGBTQI+ specific support

Mermaids on 0808 801 0400

Stonewall 08000 50 20 20

LGBT foundation 0345 3 30 30 30


If you have a trusted adult, whether that’s someone at home, school or out in the community they might be a good first point of call. If you feel comfortable with them then it’ll be easier to have that first conversation.


Using role models and social media

Follow people that build you up, and actively choose the accounts you follow and look at regularly. Role models can keep us going when we have had enough, they can help us dream and focus on what we want even if we don’t have it all right now. There are lots of positive LGBTQI+ role models out there, find ones that inspire you!


In this way you can use social media accounts to lift you up rather than mindlessly scrolling or feeling like everyone else has it better then you.


Finding your safe space


Not everyone is going to treat you with the kindness you deserve, but there are people that will. An important step to improving mental health is to seek out those safe spaces where you feel you are supported and accepted. This might through one of Space’s group talking with other LGBTQI+ teens or maybe you have another interest that you want to share with others. There are also groups with Dorset Mind Your Head if you wish to do different activities like art to explore your mental health. If you need to talk to someone one to one, DMYH have a wellbeing check-in service, that offers weekly online or phone check ins.


Your physical health and mental health are connected


Our physical health has a huge effect on our mental health. So sometimes it can be useful to make yourself do things to look after your physical health, even if you don’t think you need to or don’t think it will make a difference.


Check have you eaten today, have you eaten a mix of foods not just one type, be that sugary, carbs of even veg, it’s important you have a mix. Have you drunk much water today or soft drinks that aren’t fizzy? And finally have you got out of the house or stretched your legs. Nature can have a huge benefit on our mental health, and it can be useful to change our scenery to help change our mood.


Remember you as well know yourself most of all. You know you’re needs- listen to your bodies!


If you need further support with your mental health, Dorset Mind Your Head offers free counselling for ages 11-18, you can find out more on their website at dorsetmindyourhead.co.uk


Hey everyone, my name is Lucy and I am a volunteer counsellor with Space.


I’ve worked with young people for six years in teaching and youth work and am now really excited to be part of Space Youth Project. I am a strong ally of the LGBT+ community and have worked in activism over in Brighton.


I hope my counselling skills will be useful to some of you who may want someone to speak to in a safe and confidential space. I especially like using creative techniques like storyboarding, timelines and art to help people express themselves in different ways when speaking is more difficult.


I attend the Dorchester drop-in and can offer 50 minutes sessions over Google meets/phone or in person at Dorchester & Weymouth. If you think you would benefit from some counselling, you can contact your Youth Worker or Helen Walsh for a referral. I look forward to working with you!

What is mental health?

Our mental health is something everybody has just like our physical health. We might be clear on what good physical mental health but being mentally healthy isn’t about being happy all the time or never being afraid. Good mental health means being able to think, feel and react in ways that you need and want to live your life. As such, if your mental health becomes worse you may struggle to cope with what you’re thinking, feeling or reacting to things. Mental ill health can be experienced differently for different people and there are many different types of mental illness. Most of us might have some experience of depression or anxiety in ourselves or others but there are many other diagnosis’s such as bipolar or schizophrenia.

Mental health awareness week

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 10-16 May 2021. The theme set by the Mental Health Foundation this year is 'Nature' because of the positive impact it has had on people’s mental health through the pandemic.


Mental Health Awareness Week started 21 years ago and is all about starting conversations about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it. Mental health awareness helps break down the barriers people can face when struggling with their mental health. A lot of people can find it hard to seek help or feel ashamed about how they are feeling, by raising awareness we can show people that there is not a stigma around their mental health and that they deserve help and support.


How might being LGBTQ effect my mental health

Anyone can experience a mental health problem. You might think it has nothing to do with your identity as LGBTIQ+ or you might think it has everything to do with it. It can sometimes be hard to tell. People who are LGBTIQ+ are statically more likely to struggle with mental ill health, but that doesn’t mean that your experiences will be the same. Being LGBTIQ+ does not cause these problems and the reasons why are varied and complicated. However, they might be because you have faced homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, stigma or social isolation or exclusion. For many LGBTIQ+ people they describe always feeling different to others, this can be hard to make sense of and can also have an impact on our mental wellbeing.


Helping my mental health: the 5 Ways to wellbeing

Everyone has different experiences of mental health and their ways of coping will be different too. Yet, all of us can find that to live a mentally healthy life, we need certain things in our lives that keep us connected to others, the world around us and who we are. These can be summed up in the 5 ways to wellbeing: take notice, keep learning, connect to others, keep active and give. Each of these can be done in many different ways to suit your own life and interests.


5 ways to wellbeing in nature

For this year’s mental health awareness week, the theme is nature. So, this is an example about how you might keep in touch with nature as part of your 5 ways to wellbeing.

  • Take Notice – use your senses when you’re outside, what birds can you hear? What does the grass feel like underfoot? What colours can you see?

  • Learn – Look up the things you can see, perhaps you went out for a walk and spotted a deer, a butterfly or a rabbit. Whatever it is, if you found it interesting or exciting, learn more and look it up!

  • Connect – Reach out to others, you could go for a walk with someone or have a picnic. If you’re really struggling to reach out, start by just sending pictures of nature or something you have seen during your day to a friend or loved one.

  • Active – Most exercise can be more interesting if we take it outside and can see what’s around us. You don’t have to put pressure to do certain types of exercise, just focus on what you enjoy. If you don’t like running but like walking- do that!

  • Give – giving to others can have a positive impact on our mental health. Perhaps you know a friend who is having a hard time that might need cheering up. You could send them a card and some flowers, or even pick your own out your garden!


This simple example can show you the ways in which you can think about what you need to stay mentally healthy and how you might adapt them to fit you personally.


Dorset Mind Your Head

Dorset Mind Your Head is Dorset Mind’s service for Children and Young People aged 11-25, and provides counselling, Wellbeing Check-in befriending service, support groups and in school workshops to educate, support and inform about mental health. You can find out more on our website at https://dorsetmindyourhead.co.uk and on our Instagram page @dorsetmindyourhead and Twitter @dmindyourhead.