Mental health is entwined with sexual health and wellbeing- if we don’t feel good about our body, our identity, our relationships then it is harder to make positive choices for ourselves.
These two diagrams show the different things that affect everybody’s sexual and mental health – as you can see, there’s a fair bit of overlap between the two.
Things that compromise mental health can be those in the physical vulnerability or life events petal of the diagram but they can be also be political factors. For example, a young LGBT person may experience discrimination and homophobia which impacts on their mental and sexual health and wellbeing. A young woman may have her confidence eroded by her appearance not fitting the ‘script’ of the mainstream media portrayal of body image and looks.
Ayemind have a brilliant website for young people that covers a wide range of things about mental health and some easy ways to start a conversation with your teenager, such as these GIFS: