Top Tips From Young People to Help You Recover From Mental Illness

19/05/2016 17:14 | Updated 19 May 2016

Statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that one in ten children and young people between the ages of five and 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder.

This week it's Mental Health Awareness Week, so we asked young campaigners from Fixers, the charity that gives young people a voice, what their top tip was for dealing with mental illness.

The charity gives young people aged 16-25 the opportunity to campaign on any issue they feel strongly about, and many have chosen to tackle mental health.

Here are their top tips:

1. "Get a journal, and write down what's on your mind. Even use creative writing to turn it into a story. Once finished, breathe. If you don't have enough energy for a bath, get in the shower and then put on some clean pyjamas. You'll be able to breathe better and sleep."

2. "Studies have shown the positive effects of swimming on mental and physical health, and I can personally say this is true! After a stressful day, hitting the pool was a complete relief; it was so quiet. I had time to myself where all my concentration was on me and improving my swimming- not on homework or work or life, so it gives you a complete break. When you're in the pool you can't check your phone or write essays or argue with anyone so it's a complete break from everything for a while. Also, as exercise releases endorphins, this relives some symptoms of depression and gives you a real feel-good-factor when you've finished- whilst also getting you fitter and physically stronger too."

3. "Speak to someone, whether this is someone you know or through an online anonymous service/organisation. It always helps to get it out, rather than bottling it up. I also recommend listening to music, watching a film, going for a walk/getting fresh air and writing."

4. "Open up about your mental health, the sooner you do that the sooner you will be on the road to recovery."

5. "Do the grounding techniques, which help when you are suffering from anxiety. Think of 5 things you can smell, 4 things you can see, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can taste, and 1 thing you can hear. This helps when things are getting hard, bringing you back to the here and now."

6. "Take part in a fast-paced sport. Releasing adrenaline can be the most natural way to open your mind if you're feeling apprehensive about speaking to someone!"

7. "Meditation and having a hobby to focus on can help wonders. Honestly though, it's learning to find the happiness in little things and eventually getting to a point where you don't need to rely on anyone to stay alive. That doesn't mean pushing others away though."

8. "Even if you're not ready to accept help as such, talking to someone really helps tackle isolation until you are ready to accept help."

9. "Mental health thrives on isolation and secrecy. To break the cycle recognition and communication are key!"

10. "Speak about it! Talking can really help prevent the isolation that often comes with mental health problems. Also find something you enjoy doing. It can be difficult to find but even the smallest things like colouring or writing can give you a focus to help get through it. Doing voluntary work can really help as it gives you a purpose and a focus on something!"

11. "Writing a blog can help in several ways. It can allow your mind to keep itself busy instead of thinking negative thoughts, and can allow you to express your feelings in a positive way. This in turn can allow you to help others who are going through a similar situation to you."

12. "Using adult colouring books has helped me to relax and ease my mind. I also go for walks and spend some time with nature - taking in all my senses and appreciating the world around me."

To hear more about what young people feel are the key problems and solutions associated with mental health, read our report '50 Fixes for Mental Health: It's Time You Got It' here.

If you are looking for a creative outlet, why not try Fixer Alicia's colouring book, which helped her cope with anxiety?

For more help and advice visit

For more information about Fixers, go to