Alex joined us recently for his first taste of work experience. Before leaving us for the new school term, we asked him whether working at Unmind changed his views on mental health, and the ways in which teenagers can support their mental wellbeing.
What was your perception of mental health before joining Unmind and how has that changed over the last couple of days?
Before joining Unmind, I didn’t have much awareness about mental health. We had workshops at school, where the speaker would talk about the causes and consequences of mental health. I’ve had friends who have suffered from mental health issues. However, since joining Unmind, my understanding of mental health has improved. I have learnt that mental health is a big issue in the workplace, especially for men. The stress of work and only seeing your family late at night is very hard to balance. I think the app will help people speak out about their mental health issues to overcome these problems.
We know you love watching and playing football (sorry to hear that you are a Chelsea fan). Do you feel physical activity helps you take care of your mind?
I think physical activity is very important in someone's life and it helps with my issues as well. Playing football relieves me from my stress at school and lets me focus on one or two things at a time. Physical activities can help people with mental health issues to get their mind off thinking about problems and to concentrate on whatever physical activity that they are doing.
What are your thoughts on how social media and technology has an impact on the mental wellbeing of your generation?
Social media and technology have a massive impact on people of my generation. I’m not personally affected by this, but some of my friends are very insecure about what that they see online. They become very wary about what they post online. Some try to copy celebrities and embarrass themselves. However, I think that technology can have benefits for people with mental health. People are able to share their opinions about their mental health online, and create fundraisers or spread awareness for certain issues.
Do you have any other ideas around some of the steps young people can or should take to help support their own and each other's mental health?
People with mental health issues should talk to someone about their problems. The more people who are aware of the issue, the more help you will get. You could also do proactive activities, to help you take your mind off your issues and more focused on the activity you are doing. I think Unmind will help benefit employees to cope and handle the issues of mental health in a safe and preventative way. It's very important for people to be aware of issues and help others with their problems.