A growing number of people are overcoming a fading stigma and learning to talk more openly about mental health these days. And this week saw school pupils from across the UK join the biggest conversation yet held on the subject.
An audience of 500 pupils aged 13 to 18 gathered at East London’s Hackney Empire for the world’s largest-ever mental health lesson, setting a new Guinness World Record.
Clinical psychologist Professor Til Wykes and poet Hussain Manawer (pictured above) organised the event to get teenagers thinking about mental health issues, help them get comfortable discussing them, and find the best ways of coping and reaching out for help.
Haters will say it's photoshopped. We just set a world record for the worlds largest mental health lesson! Thank you everyone involved ❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/qrRb8BY1Nn
— Hussain Manawer (@HussainsHouse) March 21, 2017
Wykes said at least one in ten pupils will struggle with mental health problems at some point. “The main issue for me is to get people to understand that lots of people have mental health problems, and lots of young people have mental health problems,” she explained.
“Three-quarters of all mental health problems in adulthood begin before the age of 18. Because of that we want to raise awareness now, we want to help people get treatment early, and then they recover much faster and much better.”