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We believe that all communities across Merseyside have the right to be free from violence in order to provide the best life chances for all.

Events Aim to Quell Anxiousness Among Young People



Worries around schoolwork, friendships and social media are the biggest cause of mental health problems for teenagers in our region, a Merseyside survey has shown.

The research carried out by Merseyside Youth Association on behalf of ourselves, revealed that 63% of young people reported that anxiety was causing them concern, more than any other issue affecting their mental wellbeing. (1).

The survey also highlighted that only approximately 40% of young people would ask for help if they needed support with their mental health, and among those who had tried to access support, nearly 60% said it had not “been easy”.

That’s why, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (15-19 May), Merseyside’s Police Commissioner and the MVRP are welcoming a plethora of pan-Merseyside events aimed at supporting young people, whilst also promoting the advice and help that’s available from a host of local organisations.

This includes:

  • Overcoming Anxiety – A free community event at St Helens Parish Church, Monday 15 May
  • Week-long online mental health sessions organised by the Cheshire and Merseyside Resilience Hub
  • A packed programme of events, including Yoga, at Bowring Park, Knowsley
  • Liverpool Whole School Approach: Liverpool Learning Partnership has teamed up with Thrive to deliver a FREE session full of insights, tips and techniques underpinned by neuroscience that will help teachers to better understand behaviour and support your pupils to thrive

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Anxiety is a normal emotion which we can all experience from time-to-time, but this survey shows concerns around day-to-day activities such as school, friendships and using social media, is the biggest factor affecting the mental wellbeing of young people across our region.

"It’s even more concerning that despite those concerns, a lot of young people wouldn’t have the confidence or information they need to seek support.

“That’s why, as we mark Mental Health Awareness Week, it’s vital we promote the services that young people can access and encourage them to reach out if they do have anxieties to prevent them from escalating into more serious issues which could lead to behaviour which might endanger themselves or others.”

Temporary Superintendent Georgie Garvey from the MVRP said: “The problem of anxiety was rated higher than any other mental health issue in Merseyside, outstripping even confidence and sleep issues.

“The majority of parents and carers also shared this same concern and could see how anxiety was impacting on their children’s lives. (2)

“This, and successive surveys, have shown that young people are perplexed as to who to turn to for support and sometimes feel hopeless. Our concern is that those anxieties can get out control.

“A fretful, anxious mindset can be the catalyst for defensive and aggressive behaviour and sadly, we know a significant proportion of people in prison have unaddressed mental health issues.

“Our goal must be to intervene early and provide support to prevent those anxieties from spiralling. If we can get young people to speak up about how they feel and seek help, then that is a huge step in the right direction.”

Throughout the week, the MVRP will be promoting Mental Health Awareness Week events and support through its Twitter account @Merseysidevrp, whilst also encouraging the community to open-up about anxiety.

As part of its commitment to young people’s mental health, the MVRP is also providing advice on how to cope with feelings of anxiety.

Young women’s health expert and friend of the organisation Dr Anita Sharma, provided the following five tips to assuage anxiousness: 

  1. Learn to breathe through your panic by using techniques pioneered in Mindfulness classes
  2. Get plenty of exercise, as this releases endorphins in the brain
  3. Eat and sleep properly with a balanced diet and at least six hours of shut-eye. Cut down on caffeine
  4. Keep a diary of panic attacks and other incidents, learn your triggers and how you responded last time
  5. Seek help from a professional such as a GP


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