Categories
Category

194 UNNECESSELY LOST LIVES

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day.


He either sleeps all the time or doesn't sleep at all. Eats either all the time or doesn't eat barrels at all. All the exciting activities done together offer him no joy anymore. He doesn't talk to us, he doesn't go home. And while he speaks, his story is to hear jokes about suicide; but also more serious reflections on how the world would be better or life easier if it were not. And then suddenly he's gone. 

The character in this story has no age. She doesn't have sex either. Or socio-economic status. He is someone who performs almost 15 pieces for every 100,000 people in Estonia. In 2019, a total of 194 people committed suicide in Estonia. That's 194 lives lost unnecessarily. That's 194 people left behind by parents, stepchildren, children, spouses or friends. While nearly 60 people are affected by each suicide, it makes a total of 11,640 people in Estonia who had to mourn a loved one who lost a suicide. Mental health disorders, self-harm and suicide are not a problem for the "new" or "modern" generation. Estonian suicide statistics show that most suicides are committed among the elderly.

He says he can't live anymore. My soul is busy. What should I say? The truth. I have to say he's important to me. That I help him because I care about him. How can I help her? I have to ask directly. He says he can't catch it. My soul is closed again. I would like to hug him and I would like to shout and at the same time I do not understand him. 

We don't have to feel abdominal pain ourselves to believe a friend if he claims to feel it. But why do we tend to doubt when someone says they feel mentally tired? We do not need to understand another person to be able to listen, encourage and affirm. We don't need to understand another person to help find a solution. We do not need to understand another person to show kindness and kindness to him. Often, just being there is enough. It is often enough to hug, listen or even sit in silence. And it helps the most when we encourage you to seek professional help. And it helps if we stigmatize or suggest someone to sum up. Instead, we are looking at ways to see other solutions to the situation. 

When it comes to human lives, it is no longer a question of anyone's political views or decisions. Everyone has time and place to act here - to take responsibility for their words and actions. Promoting services and programs in the education and social system alone is not enough. Change must be transnational in order to have an impact. We need to start changing our attitudes, stigmas and behavior to save those who need it. Coping mechanisms can be studied at school through various programs (eg VEPA, KiVa), but we still learn and teach humanity from each other.

The stories of loved ones who lost their suicide can be read in more detail in the article published last year “Why did you do that? People who go to free death leave pain and confusion behind”. 


References:
¹https://statistika.tai.ee/pxweb/et/Andmebaas/Andmebaas__01Rahvastik__04Surmad/SD22.px/table/tableViewLayout2/
²https://statistika.tai.ee/pxweb/et/Andmebaas/Andmebaas__01Rahvastik__04Surmad/SD21.px/table/tableViewLayout2/


If you have concerns about your own or someone close to you's mental health, feel free to contact the counselors of Peaasi.ee (http://peaasi.ee/kysi-noustajalt/) or Lahendus.net (https://lahendus.net/). They offer help in case of mental health problems both by e-mail (both Peaasi.ee and solution.net) and by video call (form 'Come to counseling' from the main case page).

More help options (all available 24/7):

- It is also possible to get support from the crisis helpline 1247 with mental health concerns, as well as in the chat on the page pleaseabi.ee

- In case of mental or physical violence or suspicion thereof, it is also worth writing a chat on theabiabi.ee page or calling 116 006

- Lasteabi.ee number 116 111 and the chat on the page lasteabi.ee are also helpful in case of different kinds of worries, be it family relationships, loved ones, mental health or other aspects.

Categories
Category

International Youth Day is a collaboration between 12 organizations focusing on the mental health of young people

We are sincerely pleased that this year's International Youth Day is focusing on mental health!

Here we are sharing a press release from the Education and Youth Board, where one of the leaders of ENVTL will also have the floor.


Today, at the initiative of the United Nations, World Youth Day is celebrated. Under the leadership of the newly established Education and Youth Board, this time Estonia will focus on the mental health of young people.

Education and Youth Board (HARNO) Head of the Youth Management Department Kaire Soometsa According to him, the spring isolation has raised mental health concerns more sharply than ever before. "Sudden social exclusion and unequal conditions for studying, even from a distance, are just some of the keywords that young people suddenly had to deal with and that also raised young people's mental health concerns such as anxiety and loneliness for youth workers," says Soomets.

Talking about mental health is not very long in Estonian public space, which is why the topic is accompanied by both ignorance and a certain taboo. To this end, the Education and Youth Board has joined forces With 11 organizations, who all play an important role in supporting the mental health of young people in one way or another. The aim of large-scale cooperation is to give a wider voice to mental health issues. "We want to encourage everyone, both young people and parents, youth workers and teachers, to talk about mental health, because only in this way will it break out of the taboo status and help will reach those who need it," Kaire Soomets is sure.

As mental health concerns are difficult to see physically and often even more difficult to address, one of the partners also acknowledges that Peaasi.ee CEO Anna-Kaisa Oidermaa. “MTÜ Peaasjad is today actively training community members and specialists who could provide first aid for mental health. The most frequently asked question today is how to see something that is not so easily visible. The most important thing is to dare to talk about the topic - only in this way can the mental health become everyday in the best sense, which also helps to notice those in need more, ”Oidermaa is convinced.

The contribution of the various parties is also convinced Police and Border Guard Board Pärnu regional governor Karin Uibo, According to whom, among other things, youth police officers, in co-operation with youth workers and schools in different corners of Estonia, make every effort on a daily basis to ensure that a young person does not get into trouble with the law. "Unfortunately, this is often caused by the lack of support, exclusion and other worries of loved ones, which are the first threats to a young person's mental health. Physical health hazards are often reached much later, ”says Uibo.

Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement leader Merle Purre According to him, young people also have very practical questions when it comes to mental health. “Who do I turn to when something is bothering me? Or what to do if I notice a friend's concern, but physically there's nothing like it's broken? ” Purre brings out the most common of them. 

Concerns about children and young people are available 24 hours a day Child helpline 116 111. “Child support is a service of giving advice, listening and helping. We are waiting for all people in Estonia to call, regardless of age and language - both attentive adults and children and young people in trouble, there is no doubt, ”encourages Social Insurance Board Head of the Prevention Service of the Victim Support and Prevention Services Department Quick Gornischeff

An emergency number is also the right choice. "If someone needs help here and now, it is worth calling boldly, as with any other emergency emergency number 112, where professional rescue managers can already help, ”encourages Alarm center Director - General Kätlin Alvela.

In order not to keep the topic in the media columns, the Education and Youth Board invites youth information portal Teeviit young people to share their mental health story on social media. So great tips on how to boost your mental health through everyday activities are welcome, as are stories of coping with some mental health concerns. "We all have our own easy way to rest - who reads, who sports, walks with a pet. Let us be aware of the role of these small activities in reducing everyday stress and thus supporting mental health. Let's share our stories - you never know who can have a lot of support from some simple tips, ”Kaire Soomets is convinced. 

Topical posts will also be made by all partner organizations in the coming weeks. Thematic references connecting the stories 1TP3Mental Spirit #hoianennast and #Share story. The youth portal Teeviit collects stories until October.

Under the auspices of the Youth Day, 12 organizations have joined forces under the leadership of the Education and Youth Board: 

  • Estonian Board of Education and Youth
  • Peaasi.ee
  • Police and Border Guard Board
  • Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement
  • Alarm center
  • Social Insurance Board
  • Estonian Association of Open Youth Centers
  • Estonian Association of Youth Associations
  • Estonian Mental Health and Welfare Coalition
  • Estonian Student Union
  • Estonian Student Union
  • Child Welfare Association

Categories
ACE Category

What's new? // What & #039; s been new?

[Short summary in ENG below]


June was very busy and important in terms of the development of the ENVTL. In the first half of the month, media training took place, but in the second half we were able to spend the whole day discussing our vision, missions and strategy to reach them. The following is an overview of what happened at these two meetings.

Media training

Mental health issues have become more and more popular, and we have also tried to speak out in the media and on the Internet and share our thoughts and recommendations. However, the more widely our activities have spread and the membership has started to grow, the more we find that there is a lack of basic knowledge in the field of communication with the media.

Thus, on June 9, the first training series on media communication took place in the ENVTL Active Citizens' Foundation. We recruited the wonderful UT journalism lecturer Signe Ivaski as a trainer.

Some of the main thoughts that came out of the training:

  • When giving interviews, it is only worth answering the question - there is no need to answer more broadly than has been asked!
  • You should always think about which message I am going to give a presentation / give an interview / write an article and then keep the focus on the message. There should be no more than three messages in focus at a time!
  • People don't read the corrected news, so it's important to make sure it's what we said before you publish the story!

The first place we were able to use what we learned was a mini-campaign on eating disorders. To do this, we created a publishing plan and sought out several professionals and journalists who might want to work with us. The results of the work can be seen both on our blog and on the public wall of Facebook. In any case, our message was hopefully clear: the health behavior of athletes needs to be addressed and their physical and mental health taken seriously;.

Blog posts created as part of the media campaign:

  1. "Athlete's mental health is as important as physical" is here.
  2. "The risks of aesthetic sports can also be mitigated" here.
  3. "If you notice, talk" is located here.

The author of the mini-campaign on eating disorders is Merle Purre, the leader of the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement. The stories were shared by the young people of ENVTL and Ailen Suurtee, a clinical psychologist and Peaasi.ee counselor and trainer, gave her comment.

 

The first meeting to draw up a development plan

On June 16, the group met with our leaders to start thinking and quietly put together a five-year development plan. The aim of the development plan is to make ENVTL more strategic and concentrated in order to ensure long-term operational capability. DD Stratlab helps us in the process of compiling the development plan, under whose guidance we have started to formulate our vision and mission and to collect opinions from our partners about our activities.

At the meeting, we formulated both our vision and goals. We held brainstorming sessions on the nature of our organization and possible developments (located at the end of the post picture 1 and picture 2 is our vision of an ideal mental health society). For the further preparation of the development plan, we mapped our main partners from whom we could start collecting input. During the summer, we meet with partners and discuss their and their own future plans and set what the partner organizations expect of us. During the summer, we will also become more familiar with reading materials that support the understanding of how mental health works. The deadline for completion of the development plan is December 2020.

Picture 1. The first group found that in an ideal world, both evidence-based approaches to mental health issues and mental health care should be based on an evidence-based approach. There would be regular mental health check-ups and all people would be valued - no one needs to feel that their experience needs to be compared to someone else's. At national level, young people would also be listened to and valued, because young people are our future.

Picture 2. The second group, like the first, thought that regular mental health checks / monitoring were needed to get to the section as early as possible if someone needed help. It was emphasized that people are more aware and follow the three "boring pillars" - that is, they get enough sleep, eat healthily and are physically active. In addition, it was pointed out that the increase in the number of specialists is in line with the need for them, and society believes that mental health disorders exist, although they are not visible to the naked eye.

The completion of the media training and development plan is supported by the Active Citizens' Fund. Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement has received funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

"Together greenstrong and inclusive For Europe. "


[ENG]
The month of June has been very dense for ENVTL (an acronym used to refer to the Estonian Youth Movement for Mental Health). Firstly, on the 9th of June, we had a workshop about communicating with media and how to compile a media plan. From the knowledge we gained from the workshop, we composed a minicampaing about eating disorders. Posts on the subject can be found on our blog.
On the 16th of June we had a meeting with DD Stralab to start drawing up a development plan for the next five years. The purpose of the development plan is to act strategically and ensure sustainable activities in the future.

“Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe ”



 

Categories
ACE Category

Eating Disorders, Sports and Coaches: vol. 3

If you notice, talk!

This is the third post in a series aimed at draw attention to the possible - positive or negative - impact that the coach may have on the young athlete's mental health and future. We want to raise the awareness of both coaches and parents that a coach working with children needs not only personal experience as an athlete, but also knowledge about young people's development, mental health and its support.

If you are worried about your own or your loved one's mental health, you can find information about problems and help options on the pages Peaasi.ee and Lahendus.net. Here you will find information eating disorders and recommendations for coaches and athletes. The department focusing on the treatment of eating disorders is like that At the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Tartu if Tallinn Children's Hospital.

Today we present you with the coach who supports the experience of Eliis Grigori. Based on her experience with an eating disorder, Eliis has written a gripping and educational book, “Taped Mouth. The girl who stopped eating ”. 


The story of Elisha 

I was 14 when I was diagnosed Anorexia nervosa - by that time I had been engaged in group gymnastics for half of my life. Although group gymnastics had a huge impact, the trainer was one of the first people in my story to notice my (sudden) change.

Due to my physiological peculiarities, I was never able to compete in classic group gymnastics competitions, which is why I lost the typical competition experience and the previous one: shiny leotard, strong makeup, adrenaline in the veins when the carpet is in front of the jury. At that moment, it didn't bother me, I took it as an opportunity to train my body more gracefully and get good posture for the rest of my life. However, when I was 12 years old, I injured myself outside the training mat and had to recover from the trauma for a few months, and the following year I could not train as intensely as before. At the age when my body began to develop into an adult and the training load suddenly changed, I underwent changes that stood out compared to other training companions. Initially, it didn't bother me, the change took place quietly and unnoticed, until I heard a few comments (both from training classmates and outside the mat) that meant that I was different from others in my body. I began to notice my physical differences with others — wider hips, breasts, rounder arms, and faces — and I began to compare myself more and more closely to others, and I had a growing belief that everyone around me saw me as overweight. In addition to my body, I was also affected by the previously described parts of gymnastics, which I was and always knew I would lose. And that's where the diet began, which led me to extreme contempt for my body. But the coaches I always looked up from never told me that my body did not meet gymnastics standards. But in my head I believed that they could see nothing but me in my body.

My diet peaked in the summer when I was 14 years old. I completely cut myself out of social life, which also meant that I did not participate in summer training camps. But in the autumn I had to rejoin social life - it also meant training.

My coach didn't notice me as soon as I entered the hall, but when the warm-up started and we ran around the carpet, he said, "Elisha has changed so much!" There was no admiration or pride in his voice, but rather fright and his statement caused pride and shame in me at the same time. That evening, the coach called my mother to find out if she was aware of my situation. He had told my mother, "The change has been too abrupt." That's where my journey toward recovery began — noticing and caring for concern.


Comments by Ailen Suurtee, clinical psychologist, Peaasi.ee counselor; Children's Mental Health Center.

Qualities other than weight should be valued in the child, it should not be the focus of life or sports. It is also important for a child to know that he or she is not valuable to anyone because of his or her weight or some body shape traits, but counts other traits. However, supporting the body to be able to play sports in good health is certainly largely the responsibility of the parent:

  • provide balanced food at home (where there is no good or bad food in itself);
  • contribute to a regular eating habit and confidence that the body's signals of hunger and fullness are important;
  • knowledge of how to share their concerns so that they are listened to; and that it is possible to cope with one's heavy emotions in ways other than overeating, restricting one's diet, and so on.

In a child's crushed mood and withdrawal, it is important to find time to talk in a quiet, peaceful moment. You could describe in a neutral way what you have noticed about the child's condition that has changed. The parent could calmly express his or her emotions (eg, “I am worried / scared”) and listen, without judgment or dispute, to how the child reacts, what thoughts he or she has. It doesn't always come out the first time, so it's definitely worth trying again. Eating disorders are diseases that on the one hand are clearly harmful and dangerous, but on the other hand (weight loss, attention, compliments, a feeling of self-control) it is difficult to give up and acknowledge that help is needed. It is important not to praise for weight loss, but always give positive feedback on other characteristics that are not related to weight. It is also not good to praise weight gain in the treatment process, but rather a more regular, varied diet.

The relationship between the coach, the child and the family should be reciprocal, and as parents it is important to make sure that the coach stands in the best interests of the child. The coach can be a vital member of the treatment team and a great support in the child's return to daily life. In case of difficulties, communication and a trusting relationship between all parties are important.


How could it be even better? 
Coaches and parents have opportunity related to certain sports mental health risks - but unfortunately also amplified to the same extent. This means that it is important for these adults to be aware of mental health problems, opportunities for help and support, and also how these problems are treated. But how many trainers perceive their role as a preventor or enhancer of eating disorders?
As a coach, you have to be extremely attentive to your statements. It is also very important to know the dangers of eating disorders and the first signs of the disease. The trainer must be able to distinguish between a healthy training routine and its obsession (if the athlete is very satisfied with the weight loss or wants to achieve extreme success at any cost).
The General Affairs Team has put together recommendations for athletes and coaches to work together to better prevent eating disorders and support athletes who have a dietary concern.
You can find these suggestions here: https://peaasi.ee/treeneritele-ja-sportlastele/


If you also want to share your story and invitation to coaches or parents on our youth movement blog, send it to tere@envtl.ee. If you wish, we can leave your experience completely anonymous.


The post has been compiled by: Merle Purre, leader of the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement and a member of the Peaasi.ee team.


The completion of the mini-campaign on eating disorders has been supported by the Active Citizens' Fund. Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement has received funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

"Together greenstrong and inclusive For Europe. "

 

Categories
ACE Category

Eating Disorders, Sports and Coaches: vol. 2

The risks of aesthetic sports can also be mitigated

This is the second post in a series aimed at highlighting the potential - positive or negative - impact that a coach may have on the young athlete's mental health and future. We want to raise the awareness of both coaches and parents that a coach working with children needs not only personal experience as an athlete, but also knowledge about young people's development, mental health and its support. 

If you are worried about your own or your loved one's mental health, you can find information about problems and help options on the pages Peaasi.ee and Lahendus.net. Here you will find information eating disorders and recommendations for coaches and athletes. The department focusing on the treatment of eating disorders is like that At the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Tartu if Tallinn Children's Hospital.

In a previous post we introduced the link between eating disorders and certain sports and published the first experience story of a young person. Today we present you the story of Riina (whose name has been changed to maintain anonymity).  


Riina story 

Group gymnastics has been a very big part of my life, which I started at the age of 4 and was forced to finish at the age of 15. I'm 18 now. I've been thinking a lot about when my problems started, but I haven't found a definite answer yet - I still didn't realize for a long time that I was sick and my mental health was out of order. I think that monitoring my diet started around the time I was 14 and I started to become a woman, or my body started to change. However, this was unacceptable to me, of course, because I believed that gymnasts had to be perfect and whip-thin.

So I started to eat "healthier" at first (didn't eat sweets, etc.) and I lost weight, but it wasn't so drastic at first. However, this "healthy" diet started to get worse and deeper, and the real push was given to me when the coach told us before the summer holidays that we would not eat too much in the summer. He had previously commented on the gymnasts of the opposing team that they were quite large and could even be said to be fat. But it seemed to me that these other girls were not much different from me. It automatically seemed to me that I was also too big. All 1.5 months we didn't have a workout in the summer, I thought of only one thing - my weight number. I started to limit myself very strictly, weighed myself almost 20 times a day, moved and exercised as much as possible, while eating minimally.

All this did not go unnoticed by my parents - due to the very low weight, other health problems began to appear. I was taken to a pediatrician, from where I was soon referred to a psychiatric clinic, where I was diagnosed with anorexia. I was wanted to be hospitalized right away, but since I had a race coming up, we agreed with my doctor that I would reduce my workload and eat properly. Unfortunately, I could not keep that promise. When it was time to go back to training, I had lost quite a bit of weight and almost no strength or mood. It caught the eye of others as well. After I went to see a psychiatrist and was under his attention, my parents also told my coach about my problem. At first he seemed very reasonable, but soon I didn't think so. In the beginning, the trainer started weighing me before each workout and did not let me train until I had gained at least 100 grams. But it was very difficult for me because my only wish was for me to lose weight and I didn't want to see it rise. However, the fact that he constantly weighed me only pushed me into more corners, and I wanted to lose even more weight.

So he didn't let me work out for several weeks because I didn't gain weight. I remember exactly how he almost shouted very aggressively before one workout, why I didn't take in, why I just didn't eat, and that I was losing the whole group. It was incomprehensible to him why I couldn't just start eating. It was a very difficult moment for me, because if it were so easy to "just eat", I would have done it. I already felt so bad in my body, I had a hard time dealing with my thoughts and I was so unhappy. His comment that I was disappointing everyone made me feel completely worthless and rather lowered my motivation. He was trying to heal my body. He had the understanding that if I was of normal weight, all was well. However, the main problem was in my head. About a week after that, I went to the doctor again and then it was decided to put me in the hospital because my situation was very bad. However, the fact that I went to the hospital meant that I could not take part in the European Championships. At first, it seemed to me again that the coach is rather supportive - maybe I will finally realize when I am in the hospital that I have a problem and need to act. After a while, however, I heard from my classmates how the coach had told them that I was under the whole group and that he didn't have a motherly love for me, he couldn't deal with the problem and he couldn't do good here anymore. My coach called my classmates to be stricter with me. It was a real turning point for me because I was already in the hospital, alone, I had a hard fight with myself every day and the only thing I worked for was sports. However, hearing that my coach and my teammates don't believe in me, and that it's more important to them that I train and compete than to get really healthy, was a very strong blow and led me to a very low point. I felt that I had no point in trying and no one appreciated my efforts and most importantly - no one understood me. After this incident, my parents also went to talk to the coach to explain the situation a bit (I had to be in the hospital longer than originally planned), but the whole coach was offended. After that, it seemed even more to me that the coach was completely indifferent to me. When I got out of the hospital, I had a strict ban on training, and frankly, I didn't have much desire for it either, because I felt like I wasn't expected to go there. The coach wrote to me only once during my stay in the hospital, and we haven't communicated anymore since. He doesn't even say "hello" to me on the street. 

My coach was 21 at the time and had no coach training. He had previously done gymnastics himself and trained us based on his own experience. I think he played a very important role in the development of my eating disorder. I believe that one important indicator is that, in addition to me, two more girls in our group have been diagnosed with anorexia. I think it is very important for the coach to be trained so that he can guide the athletes and approach them correctly, because the way he approached my eating disorder only made me worse off. I didn't get any support at all, his recommendation was that "you need to eat more". Because he had no knowledge of eating disorders and children's psyche, he did not know that such an attitude would lead nowhere, and that his aggressive attitude was pushing me more and more.

If in the beginning going to a psychiatrist was like a punishment for me, then in fact, now in retrospect, I probably wouldn't have been able to do without it. The hospital experience was also very important. I got two girlfriends from there, who were a great support to me and with whom I still communicate. The psychologist was also a great help to me. It is very important to be someone who can be talked about, and especially good if you are a professional in your field. In addition, I was very much supported by the environmental exchange, I went to high school and met new people there, who had a completely different relationship with nutrition than gymnasts. I also felt much freer myself and did not feel any tension that someone was watching my diet, etc. Right now, I know that I have people who support me and I can always turn to professionals when needed. I can now understand for myself when I feel that things are going downhill again.

I would very much like to make it clear to all coaches that personal experience with sports alone is not enough, but it is definitely necessary to learn a little about communicating with and understanding children. I believe my story would have been different if my coach had been aware of eating disorders. Also, if the coach notices changes in some children - weight loss, bad mood, little strength - be sure to act and talk to the child. There must be trust, not tension, between the student and the coach. Under no circumstances should a sick person be pressured or angry with you (you are not angry or frustrated with a person who has pneumonia, for example). Instead, you have to support it, and if you can't help yourself, let the doctors do it. Health is more important than any outcome, and mental illness is as serious as any other illness and injury.

Even today - almost 3 years after being in the hospital - I have days when I feel bad in my body, when I don't want to eat, when bad thoughts come to mind. Thoughts are especially dense in more difficult moments when there is another problem. Most of the days, however, I'm happy because I've learned to focus on more important things than weight or food. I like sports very much, it makes me feel good and I do sports exactly according to my inner feelings. 

I have known my body to learn and I know when I need a break and when I want more physical effort. I have made peace with myself and I do not pursue ideals, because everyone is really special and beautiful just the way they are - and there are so many more important things in life than chasing insane numbers, counting calories and spending. This is an understanding that took me more than three years to reach, and yet there are still more difficult days. However, this is still a big step forward, and I try a lot to surround myself with good people and do nice things so that horrible thoughts of visiting me as rarely as possible.


Comments Ailen Suurtee, clinical psychologist, Peaasi.ee counselor; Children 's Mental Health Center / Children' s Hospital.

Sports enthusiasts who focus on body weight and shape are clearly at higher risk of eating disorders. The coach's and parent's awareness of mental health and its support is therefore particularly important in these disciplines. While elite sports involve great effort and ambition, mental health should not be sacrificed; just as physical sports injuries are sought to be prevented, so should mental health. With problems. For parents of children with a high risk of eating disorders, it is important to monitor their own attitudes and help the child to develop the attitude that a holistic healthy approach is important, not sporting achievements at any cost.

For children, whether they are athletes or not, it is important to be aware of their health, mood and body condition, and to notice the changes. Changes may occur suddenly or over time. It is more common for a child to lose weight too quickly and a lot. It can be seen that the child avoids common meals or certain foods he or she ate before (more often fat, sweet). In some children, an eating disorder may manifest itself not so much as starvation as as seizures, which may result in vomiting of food or excessive exercise. Traces of it or empty food packaging, plates can be found, which show large amounts of food eaten secretly. An important sign is continuous and obsessive training, where in addition to the basic training, too much extra load can be taken at home. Often the mood is grumpy or depressed, leaving out social life and other life challenges.

It is also important to know that if you lose weight very quickly, you need to reduce or stop the training load and seek help from specialists. In the treatment of eating disorders, the best option is to join a specialized team of psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, family therapists. The family plays an extremely important role in the child's healing, and it is important to look at the parent's own relationship with food and weight in the treatment process.

 


How could it be better? 
Coaches and parents have opportunity related to certain sports mental health risks - but unfortunately also amplified to the same extent. This means that it is important for these adults to be aware of mental health problems, opportunities for help and support, and also how these problems are treated. But how many trainers perceive their role as a preventor or enhancer of eating disorders?
As a coach, you have to be extremely attentive to your statements. It is also very important to know the dangers of eating disorders and the first signs of the disease. The trainer must be able to distinguish between a healthy training routine and its obsession (if the athlete is very satisfied with the weight loss or wants to achieve extreme success at any cost).
The General Affairs Team has put together recommendations for athletes and coaches to work together to better prevent eating disorders and support athletes who have a dietary concern.
You can find these suggestions here: https://peaasi.ee/treeneritele-ja-sportlastele/


If you also want to share your story and invitation to coaches or parents on our youth movement blog, send it to tere@envtl.ee. If you wish, we can leave your experience completely anonymous.


The post has been compiled by: Merle Purre, leader of the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement and a member of the Peaasi.ee team.


The completion of the mini-campaign on eating disorders has been supported by the Active Citizens' Fund. Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement has received funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

"Together greenstrong and inclusive For Europe. "

Categories
ACE Category

Eating Disorders, Sports and Coaches: vol. 1

An athlete's mental health is as important as his or her physical health

Recently, eating disorders have come to the fore in the media. We in the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement are pleased that taboo topics are receiving attention and societal attitudes towards people with these health problems are shifting towards greater understanding and awareness. 

Sometimes, however, good aspirations give unexpected setbacks. In this way, both ENVTL's young people and like-minded people from the Peaasi.ee team were crushed, reading the experience of figure skater Johanna Allik. create at a comment from a figure skating coach. From a coach who has been training since childhood, and to whom many young people and parents have certainly looked with respect so far. Each coach has a responsibility to support and protect the health of each child and young person in his or her training, both in terms of mental and physical health. Unfortunately, sometimes it seems that we are not sufficiently aware of our influence, and that is what we want to pay attention to. Our goal is to raise the awareness of both coaches and parents that A coach working with children needs not only personal experience as an athlete but also knowledge of the young person's development and mental health.

We want to bring to light the experiences of three young people and thoughts, to reveal what impact - positive or negative - the coach may have on the young athlete's mental health and future. To open the topic appropriately, we first introduce the relationship between eating disorders and certain sports. 

If you are worried about your own or your loved one's mental health, you can find information about problems and help options on the pages Peaasi.ee and Lahendus.net. Here you will find information eating disorders and recommendations for coaches and athletes. The department focusing on the treatment of eating disorders is like that At the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Tartu if Tallinn Children's Hospital.

Sports with a mental health risk

Eating disorders are characterized by a situation in which a person's daily eating is severely disrupted; thoughts and feelings revolve largely eating (or its limitation), diet and own body weight and shape around. Eating disorders are very serious mental health problems, being among the most life-threatening mental disorders¹, because it is very difficult for both body and mind to cope with nutrient deficiencies.

There are a number of risk factors that increase the likelihood of eating disorders - some are general and others are specific to sport. Factors covered by the general risk factors are: biological (eg heredity, pubertal-related physical-hormonal changes), psychological (eg low self - esteem, perfectionism) and socio-cultural perhaps due to those around us (eg peer pressure, bullying, media influence). 

Studies have shown that athletes have impaired eating behavior and eating disorders for about three times more than in the general population³. In turn, it is among athletes higher risk for professional athletes (compared to hobby athletes), especially for female athletes. However, it is clear that in areas where it is important to start training as early as possible, in childhood, both future peaks and enthusiasts train side by side. The health of all of them deserves to be protected, and the task of a coach working with children should not be to "separate the grains from the barn", but to support and develop the mental and physical health of every young person who trains under his or her guidance.

Certain sports have special features that make eating disorders more likely to occur or worsen. There is a higher risk in sports where there are, for example, weight classes for competition, where low weight is considered an advantage or where the visual side (so-called aesthetic areas) is important in assessing performance and the appearance of the athlete also receives special attention. All of them can be considered weight-sensitive sports. Weight classes can be found in weightlifting and various martial arts, for example. Aesthetic sports include, for example, beauty and group gymnastics, figure skating and water jumping. As these sports are already inherently higher risk, it becomes even more important the coach's ability to ground them (but to the same extent, unfortunately also to raise).

But why do these sports increase the risk of eating disorders? They contribute to this several factors related to training and competitions: frequent weight measurement, pressure to lose weight, early start with sports-specific training, sports rules; as well as injuries, overtraining, and coach behavior and impact. All of these can contribute to the fact that getting an athlete through their body, weight and diet is not healthy. The stories of the three young people clearly illustrate the potential impact of these factors. In the first post, we publish Lea's story (the name has been changed to maintain anonymity).  


Lea story

When I was three, my parents enrolled me in a gym training. Finally, I worked on it for six long years until my parents gave in and allowed me to quit training.

It was preceded by a lot of persuasion, crying and controversy, as both my parents and my coach expected more from me than I could offer them. Gymnastics is an area where a lot is expected of those who see potential. Therefore, perhaps I should take it as a compliment that my coach called me a traitor after I left in front of the whole troupe.

There were several reasons for my great desire to get out of training. My trainer was a young, courageous and very confident woman with the goal of raising successful gymnasts for many of us. He did not hold back any remarks that he thought could be useful to us. So when I was quite young, I was convinced that skinny people are beautiful and good, and fat people are ugly and evil. None of my ballet books had thick ballerinas and all the gymnasts, including my trainer, were skinny. We were not allowed to "walk like elephants" and we always had to keep our babysitters inside. The thinner children from my troupe were always at the forefront of the plans and the slightly older children at the back.

These remarks also affected me years after I finished gymnastics. As a child, I was always convinced that I was too fat, and I constantly whimpered about it. I'm the biggest sweet-lover in the world, but I always felt bad every time I ate any candy. After overcoming my eating disorder at the age of 17 with the help of two psychologists, I realized that my relationship with food and my body had never been healthy or normal. 

Social media, my family's remarks about my body or eating, and extremely low self-esteem were all the culprits of my eating disorder. However, I feel that the culmination of me was the way my trainer treated me and my teammates. If I were to meet my then coach at the age of 20 now, I would probably feel as insecure as I was when I was 7 years old. If coaches have faith in their students and a desire to raise them into good athletes, it would be more beneficial to support, guide and encourage them. A good coach is one whose students respect him, not afraid.

How could it be better? 
Coaches and parents have opportunity related to certain sports mental health risks - but unfortunately also amplified to the same extent. This means that it is important for these adults to be aware of mental health problems, opportunities for help and support, and also how these problems are treated. But how many trainers perceive their role as a preventor or enhancer of eating disorders?
As a coach, you have to be extremely attentive to your statements. It is also very important to know the dangers of eating disorders and the first signs of the disease. The trainer must be able to distinguish between a healthy training routine and its obsession (if the athlete is very satisfied with the weight loss or wants to achieve extreme success at any cost). 
The General Affairs Team has put together recommendations for athletes and coaches to work together to better prevent eating disorders and support athletes who have a dietary concern. 
You can find these suggestions here: https://peaasi.ee/treeneritele-ja-sportlastele/

If you also want to share your story and invitation to coaches or parents on our youth movement blog, send it to tere@envtl.ee. If you wish, we can leave your experience completely anonymous. 


References:
¹ According to research, the most mortal mental disorders are eating disorders (especially anorexia) and addiction disorders. A meta-analysis summarizing the results of a large number of studies found here.
² A research article on the prevalence of eating disorders in athletes and risk factors found here.
³ Scientific articles comparing the prevalence of eating disorders in athletes and the general population can be found from here and from here.


Author of the post: Merle Purre, leader of the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement and member of the Peaasi.ee team.


The completion of the mini-campaign on eating disorders has been supported by the Active Citizens' Fund. Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement has received funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

"Together greenstrong and inclusive For Europe. "

Categories
Category

Spiritual strength from Iceland

On 14 May, the ENVTL board met with three leaders, the Icelandic mental health organization Hugarafl, online. Mind Power) with Fjóla Kristín Ólafardóttir, project manager.

Hugarafl is a mental health organization from Reykjavik based on informal approaches. We first got acquainted with this organization and people in November, when our members Helen Voogla, Annika Paas, Mihkel Keerdo and Hedvig Madisson attended the Erasmus + seminar "Hand in Hand" organized by them. It was a positive surprise to learn that although we approach some things differently, we have similar goals and activities. For example, they also go to school to talk about mental health and share their stories. They are hugely successful in empowering and engaging their members and in supporting and helping people with mental health problems. We feel that although we should not compare ourselves - Hugarafl has been operating for 17 years, they have more than 300 members and a large number of paid employees (psychologists, counselors, life coaches, etc.) life coachand others) - we have a lot to learn from them and we can follow their example in order to develop our practices and organizational organization and carry out our activities more successfully.

At this meeting, we learned more about who Hugarafl's members are, how they are received and involved in the organization, how decisions are made and how the board works.

We also agreed that since we are both very interested in each other's projects to talk about mental health in schools, we will have at least one more online meeting in the future. We would like to discuss and share in more detail how the outreach activities of both organizations in schools are structured and organized.

ENVTL is very grateful that we have established a good friendship with a successful mental health organization, from whom we receive new ideas and inspiration, as well as help and advice to overcome the bottlenecks in our youth movement.

Categories
ACE Category

What will 2020 bring us?

Dear friends and acquaintances of the Estonian Youth Movement for Mental Health (ENVTL)!

We are delighted to announce that we have received support from the Active Citizens Fund this year!

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are monetarily contributing to the ACF to decrease economic and social inequality in Central Europe, Southern Europe and the Baltics. Estonian Youth Movement for Mental Health applied for the funding of the project “Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement.” (Strategic inclusion of the youth into the mental health movement).

In the course of the project, a development plan ensuing the sustainability of the organization will be prepared. As a youth organization, we do not have any set of long-term plans. Additionally, we lack the skills or knowledge to make such plans. We wish to grow our membership, but also learn how to better involve our members. We will review the vision and goals of our organization and how to aid their fulfillment.

Keeping the position of ENVTL as a representative of the youth in mind, we plan to organize four training sessions that would help our members better navigate in the complicated field of advocacy. These training sessions will provide our members with the skills to speak up in the matters of project management and communication within ENVTL, as well as with additional skills for their personal lives.

Thanks to this project, we can offer free peer support counseling for our members throughout this year. A peer support counselor is a appropriately trained expert who has personal experience in the field of psychiatric disorders and who can help support our youths throughout their journey and guide them to find professional help.

ENVTL wishes to provide a community that supports mental health, where it would be possible to attain and improve one's own skills in a safe environment.

The project will run through April 2020 to May 2021. Any questions can be directed towards Birgit Malken at birgit@envtl.ee.

“Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. "


Categories
Category

The concerns and needs of young people in an emergency

The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement led the 6th-13th April 2020 to conduct a survey to map the concerns and needs of young people in the emergency situation caused by the coronavirus COVID19.

The results of the survey conducted by the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement provide an insight how young people in a new situation see their livelihoods, concerns and needs in the field of mental health. Young people who are experiencing or have previously experienced mental health problems or have recently noticed a worsening condition were invited to respond to the questionnaire. 238 responses were collected during the week. 

In summary, we highlight the findings of the questionnaire major concerns, young people supporting practices and needs, which would enable them to cope better with the situation in the eyes of young people. 

Problems, concerns and sources of stress

  1. Half of the respondents perceive themselves deterioration in mental health related to an emergency situation. Relapses have been noticed by young people who have experienced depression, anxiety disorders and eating disorders, and young people have also noticed a worsening of suicidal thoughts. 
  2. The focus of mental hardship is on many young people being left alone with one's thoughts. Opportunities to communicate with friends or actively engage in sports or hobbies that have helped to cope with one's worries in the past have decreased.
  3. Accompanying distance learning increased screen time and significantly in an emergency reduced opportunities for hobbies is an important factor in the deterioration of mental and physical health in the eyes of young people. 
  4. The topics related to family and loved ones are multifaceted: 
    1. For some young people, the source of stress is the multiplied time spent in close contact with family members and the limited opportunities to be alone. This will lead to many feelings of being trapped at home, more conflict, and limited opportunities for support (from mental health professionals, friends) via video or phone calls. 
    2. many young people are left alone and feel that they have no one to share their concerns with. It is desirable to have someone to communicate with; there are certainly young people at risk who live completely alone and who are afraid to deal with serious concerns.
  5. As a major source of stress for students, there has been a sharp shift to distance learning increase in study load and the fragmentation of tasks and instructions in e-learning across platforms, making it difficult to have a comprehensive overview of responsibilities and time planning. Alongside this is a significant source of difficulty lack of a suitable learning environment or the impact of home conditions on learning.

Presumably, due to the age specificity of the sample (65% respondents aged 15-18), the responses did not reveal significant problems related to the (home) reconciliation of work and school responsibilities, as highlighted, for example, by a number of ENVTL university members in discussions. 

Supportive practices

We researched the young people from whom they have received the most support during this period. Let's get out of that important opportunities to provide support and hope to young people or which can be implemented by young people to support themselves. We have divided them into groups according to the sources of support. 

  1. Mental health professionals (especially psychologists and school psychologists) have been an important support for young people through online channels, providing counseling through video or e-mail. 
  2. Teachers and the school family can provide very important support to young people in maintaining or restoring motivation. Allowing, for example, 10 minutes of free interaction with classmates at the end of a web-based lesson reduces the feeling of isolation. Teacher feedback, encouragement, small compliments or heartfelt messages in the e-School help young people to remain positive. Interested in the well-being of young people (eg video consultations, short extracurricular conversations, the aforementioned free interaction at the end of the lesson), many teachers have been able to send a very important message to students - they are taken care of.
  3. Parents is a support and help to many young people, being understanding and caring. For young people who do not live with their parents, regular telephone, video and / or text messaging is helpful.
  4. Friends is one of the most important sources of support for young people. Web-based collaboration (video calling - including learning together; watching movies, playing video games) helps alleviate the lack of direct contact. In the current emergency, young people are greatly helped to know that they have friends who support them, listen to them and want them to do well. The support and understanding provided by the partner or partner is equally valued.
  5. In self-support has been helpful in finding new (hobby) activities, regularly walking or running in the fresh air, exercising at home, listening to music, etc. Many young people are starting to read more; many have also discovered writing for themselves, which provides an opportunity to deal with their feelings and thus support their mental health.

The needs of young people

We believe that every young person is an expert in their own coping. That is why we are compiling here an overview of the needs that would help to support and increase the well-being of young people in this special situation.  

  1. Mental health support from professionals. Remote receptions by (school) psychologists should certainly continue; there was also a need to see a psychiatrist remotely and receive hospital or drug treatment. Many young people do not have the privacy they need at home to receive video or telephone help; the ability to make such calls outside the home is needed. It would provide an opportunity to increase the availability of assistance chatDevelopment of an i-based or synchronous messaging-based web counseling service. Unfortunately, for some young people, online channels are not suitable, so it is important to restore, at least to a limited extent, outpatient specialist appointments as soon as possible. 
  2. Social contact. Understandably, young people long to be with loved ones and friends. This need is facilitated, for example, by the time allowed for distance learning with classmates at the end of lessons or in a class teacher class; more sociable learning. You need to communicate with friends or, in their absence, the opportunity to belong to a supportive online community. 
  3. Support from parents; support resources for parents; help resolve tensions with parents or other loved ones. It is clear that young people's lives are greatly influenced by their family background and the presence of supportive loved ones. Young people long for understanding more; in some cases, parents have not taken young people's concerns about their mental health seriously or have experienced mental violence. Mention was also made of situations where parents rely too heavily on their children and the latter want more (known) more support resources for the parents themselves. In the absence of loved ones, the need for supportive adults or peers is all the more acute.
  4. Development of the quality and organization of distance learning. There was a clear need for a better structured e-learning system. Young people want teachers to collect ongoing feedback on the workload of independent teaching and to adjust the workload.
  5. Time (and space) for yourself and rest. Young people miss the opportunity to be away from the computer; stay in a quiet, safe, private room. Although it is difficult to create this time and space for purely practical reasons due to the special situation, it is this longing that is at the heart of many young people. The opening of school holidays can provide an opportunity for rest, and we hope that innovative solutions will be created to use the currently idle spaces to provide a safe and private environment for young people in dire need. 

In conclusion, we point out the limitations that should be borne in mind when interpreting and applying this summary. It is a modest short sample survey based on young people's subjective opinion of their ability to cope in a given situation. It is clear that its results cannot be generalized to all young people; nor can it be distinguished on this basis whether the concerns described are objectively different from the 'normal' concerns faced by young people in the spring. However, we feel that in a crisis situation where crisis measures are being implemented, it is important to pay attention to the sources of stress and the needs that affect the well-being of young people, whether they existed before the crisis or not. In our view, in addition to the perspectives of specialists (and to support their work), young people's own knowledge of the sources of stress affecting their lives and the possibilities for their relief is equally important. It is by combining diverse perspectives that we can together, more comprehensively understand, support and speak to young people at this special time.

The summary was prepared by Helen Voogla and Merle Purre, with advice and strength, were assisted throughout by Birgit Malken and Hedvig Madisson. The summary was completed on April 16, 2020.

Questions and feedback concerning the survey are welcome to the e-mail address tere@envtl.ee

 
You can find a more detailed summary of the questionnaire from here.

Categories
ACE Category

What will 2020 bring to ENVTL?

Dear ENVTL friends and acquaintances!

We are most pleased to announce that we received support from the Active Citizens' Fund this year!

Funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the Active Citizens' Fund supports organizations to reduce economic and social inequalities in Central and Southern Europe as well as in the Baltics. The Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement (ENVTL) applied for funding for the project "Strategic Involvement of Young People in the Mental Health Movement."

In the course of the project, a development plan ensuring the sustainability of the organization will be completed. As a young organization, we do not have long-term plans in place, nor do we have the skills to make those plans. We want to grow our membership, but at the same time learn to involve our members more. We review what the vision and goals of our organization are and how to facilitate their fulfillment.

With a view to the Estonian Youth Mental Health Movement as a voice for young people in society, we are organizing four trainings that would help our members to better orient themselves in the complex landscape of advocacy. These trainings provide members with the skills to speak more in project management and communication issues at ENVTL, as well as additional skills in personal life.

Thanks to the project, we can offer our members background experience counseling this year. An experienced counselor is a trained person who has experience of a mental disorder and who can support young people on their journey and help them seek professional help.

ENVTL wants to provide a community that supports mental health, where it is possible to realize and develop one's skills in a safe environment.

The project will run from April 2020 to the end of May 2021. If you have any questions about the project, please contact Birgit Malken birgit@envtl.ee.

"Together green, strong and inclusive For Europe. "