What is mental health and why is it important for your overall well being?
Is it important to recognise and mind your overall mental health and well-being? Do you know what mental health means? Before watching the following video ask yourself what mental health means to you?
Your mental health first aid kit
Just like a medical first aid kit, a mental health first aid kit is a kit that can contain tools which can offer you ways to support your overall mental wellbeing that you can turn to when needed. It is important to note it is solely unique to you. The following activity will give you a guide on what is required for your very own first aid kit, what resources you can add, three DIY activities for your kit and what else you can do to help you and your mental health. You know your own mental health more than anyone so feel free to add or switch up as much as you like to make your mental health first aid kit your own.
Materials you will need:
- Shoebox/cardboard box,
- colouring pens/markers/pencils,
- a jar,
- pva glue
Decorating your first aid kit
The first step in making your very own first aid kit is decorating it however you like. Grab your paintbrush and paint or colouring pens/pencils, choose your colours and start decorating the outside of your shoebox. Paint the whole box one colour to start with then use pens, pencils or more paint, to draw, colour, design and even write quotes or text on the front of your first aid kit. Remember it is solely a first aid kit meant for you so use your imagination to your heart’s content and express yourself through the colours on your box whichever way you’d like!
What to include in your first aid kit
What you may include in your kit can vary between person to person. You could print or draw a feelings chart, this is in order to recognise and identify how you’re feeling each time you open your kit. Other useful items for your kit include:
- colouring pages of items or of things you like and bring you happiness and colour to have a mindful moment or to have fun.
- write down affirmations and/or positive quotes which can uplift you every time you open your kit or maybe you can include quotes on the outside of your kit too.
- Some lined paper and pens can be included for when you want to write down how you’re feeling or get something off your mind.
- a written list of a few of your favourite songs and when discovering a title of a song within your kit, play it and dance to it to lift your spirits.
- a stress ball.
- a glitter jar.
- the hand of gratitude.
Remember this is your very own first aid kit unique to you and you can include anything which makes you happy and positively improves your overall mental health. See below instructions for making some items to add in to your kit
Activity 1: A stress ball
You will need: a balloon, rice and funnel.
Step 1: Place the bottom of the balloon onto the end of the funnel.
Step 2: Pour some rice through the funnel into the balloon. Keep going until the balloon is not too full so you can tie the balloon.
Step 3: Tie the balloon and squeeze.
You now have your very own homemade stress ball.
Activity 2: A glitter jar
You will need: A jar, glitter, pva glue and water.
Step 1: Fill the jar halfway with water.
Step 2: Add the glue to the water.
Step 3: Place the lid on the jar securely, and shake!
Step 4: Remove the lid and add your glitter.
Step 5: Replace the lid and secure firmly.
Activity 3: The hand of gratitude
You will need: Paper, colouring pens/markers/pencils, scissors.
Step 1: Place your hand onto a piece of paper, spreading your fingers out.
Step 2: Take a pen and trace your hand onto the paper in between your fingers and around your palm.
Step 3: Colour and decorate your hand.
Step 4: Write down 5 things you’re grateful for, enjoy doing or simply just like.
Step 5: Cut out your hand and put it into or on your kit.
What else is important for your mental health and general well-being:
Studies show practicing gratefulness, kindness and supporting each other can positively improve your mindset and overall well being. Use your mental health first aid kit to remind you of these things by revisiting your hand of gratitude or simply writing down a new affirmation or kind words to a loved one or family member. Finally, simply being aware of your feelings, emotions and overall state of mind can be important for your own mental health and it is ok to speak up if you’re ever struggling.
Take it further
If taking part in this activity has brought up issues with your own mental health or if you’re ever struggling be sure to reach out to a trusted adult in your life who can help. Here are links to resources and websites who can also help: