Mental Health

Mental health is a way of describing social and emotional wellbeing. Good mental health is central to a teenager’s healthy development. It is associated with:

  • Feeling happy and positive about yourself and enjoying life
  • Healthy relationships with family and friends
  • Participation in physical activity and eating a healthy diet
  • The ability to relax and to get a good night’s sleep
  • Community participation and belonging

We need good mental health to build strong relationships, adapt to change and deal with life’s challenges.

Sometimes individuals with poor mental health may present as:

  • Seeming down, feeling things are hopeless, being tearful or lacking motivation
  • Having trouble coping with everyday activities
  • Showing sudden changes in behaviour, often for no obvious reason
  • Having trouble eating or sleeping
  • Dropping school performance, or suddenly refusing to go to school
  • Avoiding friends or social contact
  • Making comments about physical pain (for example, headache, tummy ache or backache)
  • Being aggressive or antisocial – for example, missing school or stealing
  • Being very anxious about weight or physical appearance, weight loss, or failing to gain weight like others of a similar age

Additional information can be found at Mental Health and Autism from the National Autistic Society.

See Autism and Anxiety Girl Video: and

If you’re concerned, talk to your GP, who can put you in contact with an appropriate professional.