Youth mental health has been in the news a lot recently, with shocking statistics revealing an unprecedented level of mental illness in young people around the world. While we should all be checking in to see if the people around us are doing okay, it’s important we make our environments a safe, inclusive, and kind space for everyone. After all, a kind word can go a long way.
A study conducted by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation has shown that kindness goes a long way in improving the mental health of our youth. Surveying 3,000 American people aged between 15 and 24, the foundation found that those who describe their work or school environments as kind are far more likely to be mentally healthy. In the study, 79% of respondents who said their high school or workplace had a “kind environment” had the highest mental health scores.
And while young people may be prioritising mental health more and more, with 57% of respondents saying that mental health is “very important,” many feel they lack the resources to support mental wellbeing. The foundation hopes that the results of this survey will raise awareness around mental wellbeing, and give people the practical information they need to address mental health concerns.
Co-founder and President, Cynthia Germanotta, says that, “while mental health may be a challenging, multifaceted issue, there are tangible actions we can all take to support our own mental wellness and the wellness of our young people, starting the building kinder communities.”
So while we might not all be qualified to provide professional-level care, being kind might just in fact save a life.