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What to do if....?

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Gina Marshall

on 6 August 2013

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Transcript of What to do if....?

(Because sometimes we could all use a bit of advice.)
What to do if you are....
Concerns about
Healthy Eating?

Questioning gender

Worried about

Feeling threatened or afraid?
Concerned about Finance?
Worried about sex?
Concerned about things which don't fit into any other circles?
Anxious about mental health?
Final Thoughts...
Concerned about addiction?
If you are concerned about your own health you
should contact your GP.
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving drugs, alcohol or smoking you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
Healthy Eating
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
Need more information or support?
Need more information or support?
Bulimia is an eating disorder and a mental health condition. Like any mental health issue it can affect anyone irrespective of age or gender. Bulimia is characterised by 'bingeing' and 'purging'.
"Bingeing is when you eat large amounts of food in a small space of time, often in secret. Afterwards, you may feel guilty about the bingeing, and this can cause you to purge. This is usually done by deliberately making yourself vomit."
Reasons and 'triggers' for Bulimia will vary between individuals.
The long term effects of Bulimia include tooth decay, bone deterioration, gastric issues, heart issues and kidney damage. Which is why it is important to to seek help for yourself or others suffering from Bulimia.
"Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour. A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health." It is a common misconception that people
choose to have an eating disorder and can therefore choose not to have one. This is not the case. An eating disorder is classified as a mental health condition which means that it is an illness which requires treatment to overcome.

There is no known singular 'cause' for the development of an eating disorder but stress, pressure to be slim by society or the media, difficult relationships and negative past experiences such as abuse are linked to eating disorders, Commonly eating disorders fall into the following categories; Bulimia, Anorexia and Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

"It is common for someone with an eating disorder to be secretive and defensive about their eating and their weight, and they are likely to deny being unwell." This does not remove the importance of helping yourself or someone else suffering from an eating disorder because the short and long term effects are very detrimental. Help for combating eating disorders comes in different forms and is dependent on the individual.
Read on to learn more about eating disorders and where you can seek support and guidance.


"Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder and mental health condition which can be life-threatening. Anorexia can affect anyone irrespective of age or gender. People with anorexia often believe their value as a person is related to their weight and how they look. They think others will like them more if they are thinner, seeing their weight loss in a positive way.

People with anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible, usually by restricting the amount of food they eat. They often have a distorted image of themselves, thinking that they're fat when they're not." People with anorexia may also exercise excessively, burning more calories than they consume.
The long term effects of Anorexia includes acute kidney failure, liver damage, infertility, heart failure and fatality which is why it is important to seek help for yourself or others suffering from Anorexia
"Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person feels compelled to overeat on a regular basis.

People who binge eat consume very large quantities of food over a short period of time and they often eat even when they are not hungry. Binges are often planned and can involve the person buying "special binge foods". Like other eating disorders this is also linked to mental health. "Depression and anxiety may be both a cause and an effect of binge eating."
The long term effects of BED include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. These can all shorten your life expectancy. Which is why it is important to to seek help for yourself or others suffering from BED.
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving eating disorders you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
Forced Marriages
Pressure to have sex?
Difficult Friendships
Social Skills
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving relationships you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
http://www.mind.org.uk/help/social_factors/how_to_get_a_social_life#Social skills
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
Peer Pressure
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation the previous questions you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
The Future
S.T.I.s and S.T.D.s
Unwanted sexual attention?
L.G.B.T. sexual Health
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving sex you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.

If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
Sexual Abuse
Physical Abuse
Emotional Abuse
Hate Crimes
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving abuse you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP. If you are worried about your own safety you should contact the Police.
What is good mental health?
Self Harm
Bipolar Disorder
Sleep problems
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving mental health you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
Borrowing Money
Finance at College
Need more information or support?
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving finance you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
If you are concerned about your finances you should speak to someone your trust. If you think that the stress or worry has had an impact upon your health you should contact your GP.
Financial Abuse
Gender is commonly mistaken to be the same as sexuality but the two are very different things. One of the easiest ways to think about this is that gender is how you feel about yourself (and, rightly or wrongly, how others view you) and sexuality is how you feel about others.

Your gender identity is the gender you feel most like. "Gender identity is the sense of belief that "I am male" or "I am female"." For some this is different to the body they were born into; this is commonly known as transgender. For others it is less defined and they can feel like they fit into both genders or neither.

Society holds gender norms or stereotypes which can make you feel that you should be one way or the other depending on your gender. This can feel like a pressure to those who don't initially identify with their biological gender.

"Gender is a matter of personal preference. If you regard yourself as a man, or a woman, then you have the right to be treated as one."
'Transgender' is a term used to describe people whose perception of their own gender may not be directly in line with their assigned sex at birth.

"It is a common misconception that it is only men who are uncomfortable with their biological gender but this comes from confusion over the term 'transvestite' which is used to describe men who wish to dress up as women for sexual or social pleasure. "Current thinking expects roughly a 50-50 split between male-to-female and female-to-male transsexual people presenting themselves to the medical profession."

"Transgender people may or may not decide to alter their bodies hormonally and / or surgically." This is commonly known as gender reassignment treatment.

The term "transsexual' is often used from the point that 'treatment' begins. However, it is up to the individual to decide upon which terms they wish to refer to themselves as.

There is help and support available from the NHS for anyone who is facing issues with their gender. FONT
Sexuality is a fancy way of defining which gender you are attracted to.

"Your sexual orientation might be gay, bisexual or straight. Sexuality is also used as a broader term that can refer to someone's sexual behaviour and how they express themselves sexually." For example, what sort of physical experiences they seek.

It is often argued that sexuality is fluid and can change. There are a variety of terms used to describe and define varying types of sexuality such as homosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pan-sexual, A-sexual and heterosexual. Many people chose not to label themselves and prefer to see how they respond to a person rather than a gender. Equally some people would rather identity their sexual preference using these labels.

Non-heterosexual remains illegal in some countries. In the UK there are laws which protect the L.G.B.T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) community and society has developed to become more accepting and celebratory of people of all sexualities.

If you are considering your sexuality there is a wealth of support available to you.
There are a variety of stereotypes which exist about the L.G.B.T. community and these terms. some of these stereotypes seem to be appropriate and others could not be further from the truth. Sexuality does not have to define a person if they do not want it to.

'Coming Out' refers to the process of telling your friends and family about your sexuality. The term itself is quite an old fashioned one as it implies that being anything other than heterosexual should be kept a secret. If you choose to tell others about your sexuality or the questioning of it "the most sensible option is to tell someone who you trust and who will be supportive and understanding. If you're not sure how you feel about your sexuality, there's no hurry to make your mind up or tell people. Coming out is an individual's decision and it's important to do it in your own way and in your own time." Telling people how you feel can and should be a really positive experience but this is not always the case, Although there are laws to protect the L.G.B.T, community unfortunately prejudice does still exist.

If you feel threatened or are facing prejudice or discrimination because of your sexuality or any other reason you should tell someone you trust. Everyone has the right to feel safe.
The term gay is used commonly to describe homosexual men.
The term lesbian is commonly used to describe a homosexual woman. Some homosexual women will prefer to use the term gay to define themselves.
The term bisexual is used to describe someone who is attracted to both males and females.
If you are concerned about yourself, others or any situation involving sexuality you could look to the following for support and guidance;
Your Personal Tutor, A Parent or Someone That You Trust.
If you are feeling anxious or concerned about your sexuality or the impact it is having on your mental health you should ensure you speak to someone that you trust.
A forced marriage is something which is often confused with an 'arranged marriage'. A forced marriage is illegal whereas an arranged marriage is not.

An 'arranged marriage' is a suggestion of a partner for either a male or female by their families which they have the choice to accept or refuse and is often a positive and desirable process.

A 'forced marriage' "takes place when the bride, groom or both do not want to get married but are forced to by others, usually their families. People forced into marriage may be tricked into going abroad, physically threatened and/or emotionally blackmailed to do so."

Forced marriages are mistakenly stereotyped to only happen to certain people. However, victims of forced marriages have been found to be from different cultures, male or female, physically disabled, with learning difficulties or members of the L.G.B.T. community.
If you are worried that you or someone you know is in danger of a forced marriage then you should access the help available. Everyone has the right to choose who they wish to marry or if they want to get married at all.
"You have sexual rights, which means you have the right to be in control of your body and to reject sexual exploitation. This means that you decide what happens with your body, not someone else. You have the right to change your mind at anytime!"
Society advertises by sex, everyone is reading 50 Shades of Grey, people in TV and Film are having sex, you may feel pressure from you friends to have sex and if all of that wasn't enough...you may have a partner who is putting pressure on you to have sex. Sometimes it may feel that the whole world is having sex but they aren't...otherwise nothing would ever get done!
"Sex can be great when both people like each other and feel ready." Everyone, irrespective of gender, age or sexuality, has the right to chose when they are ready to have sex.

If you are receiving sexual attention or pressure from someone that you don't want to be then you should seek help and advice. No one should feel made to do something they do want to do, hear what they don't want to hear or see anything they have not chosen to see. You have sexual rights and there are support systems in place to help and protect you.
Seriously though, having sex for the first time isn't something to take lightly and you should do your research and feel 100% ready to ensure you don't end up with any regrets. Even if you have had sex previously, having sex for the first time with a new partner is still a big decision. There are emotional, mental and health factors to consider. If you feel pressure to have sex then it isn't the right time. Sex should be a mutual and consensual act and you shouldn't feel pressured at any point.
It's OK to say no...at any point.
At school you may have heard a lot about the dangers of peer pressure but peer pressure doesn't stop when school does. Peer pressure can affect anyone at any age and as you get older the consequences can be more damaging. The 'peer' element means that by the nature of being a human surrounded by other humans we are influenced by one another. The 'pressure' aspect of peer pressure can mean that we do things we wouldn't normally do outside of the situation or 'moment'.

You may feel pressure to smoke, have the latest phone, do drugs, get the latest look, drink the most, eat certain things or not eat at all, engage in sexual behaviour or have enough money to do whatever the 'group' wants. Peer pressure is often something which is not spoken directly about...no one actually says "If you don't start smoking we won't be friends anymore." However, the reality can be that the consequences of not smoking when your friends do means that you are left out of conversations and left indoors when everyone is outdoors. So you could start to think that smoking isn't the worst idea and before you know it you could be joining in. When in reality and out of that 'moment' you know nothing good comes from smoking. Peer pressure is sneaky and you can be affected by it unknowingly.

Actions which have their foundations in peer pressure can impact the following; your health, your bank balance, your reputation, your future and career prospects. Actions which come from peer pressure can quickly escalate. For example, you end up doing drugs because everyone else is, you end up lying to people you normally wouldn't, you get caught, those you lied to no longer trust you, you get a criminal record, you can no longer apply for the University course you wanted to which means you can't access the career you wanted to. It is a slippery slope.

There is no solution to peer pressure because there will always be popular trends and hopefully there will always be humans but there are ways in which you can avoid the consequences of peer pressure. Sometimes it is just a matter of taking a step back from the situation and questioning what the impact of that action will be. Ask yourself if no one else was doing it, would there be something inside you that still wanted to do it or still wanted to have it.? Make sure you do what you want, not what your friends want. Your friends may not always be around but you will always have to live with your actions.
If you feel you are caught up in something you do not want to be or have suffered because you have decided to step away from the crowd then you should talk to someone you trust.
Social situations are not always simple or easy but we don't often talk about the problems and feelings attached to socialising and social skills because we assume that they are naturally inbuilt for everyone. This is not the case. Some people can find socialising a demanding task which can result in anxiety, feelings of inadequacy and loneliness.

"If you find mixing with people difficult, the lack of social skills may feel like an enormous mountain in your quest to
make new friends."

At the beginning of College and at the start of University there is a lot of pressure put upon socialising and establishing a social circle of friends. For some this is the most exciting point of the new milestone but for others it is the most daunting. You are not alone. If you find yourself in this situation you should remember that everyone is in the same position and prepare yourself with some social skills techniques.

Many people feel happier socialising online than in person but unfortunately the world will not always interact with you through a virtual reality. Life is full of social interactions and moments which we would perhaps rather not deal with such as the assessed presentations for College, an important job interview, a team meeting, the first date and many more. The sooner you feel happier in face to face social situations the easier life will be. Like with any problem, the sooner you start dealing with it the better you will feel.

There are plenty of resources and workshops available with advice and guidance on social skills because society is realising that there is a large need for the support. Socialising contributes towards our happiness, confidence and progression and at some point everyone could use a friend or two. The way you are now does not have to be forever.

If you feel that you need support with your social skills or would like to develop your confidence then you should speak to someone and access the support and resources available to you. There are social groups at the College which your Tutor will be able to inform you about.
It's a hard fact of life that people can change. This means that by default friendships can change to. What you initially thought you were entering into may now be something much more difficult.

"Friends are fantastic – most of the time. They're there for us whenever we need them, and they share things with us, and let us share with them. However, sometimes, friends are hard to deal with. Many people find that friendships are really tough for them to manage, and friend issues can be big problems
in a lot of people's lives."

You may feel that your friends are laughing at you and not with you, are taking advantage of you, that you're scared to end a friendship in case your friend gossips about , or that the friendship is no longer an equal one. Whatever the situation is, if it is making you unhappy then it requires attention.

"Not all friendships last forever: We should always be open to new ones."

In the worse case scenario the only solution to the friendship issues is to end the friendship and despite it being a hard decision it can be for the best. However, before that point there are other options. A solution could be that you communicate your feelings with your friend, take responsibility for any of your wrong actions, ensure you get the answers you require, resolve and enjoy the friendship once again. Or it may not be that simple. Whatever the problem, if you don't discuss your feelings you are likely to end up resenting your friend and becoming unhappy.

"Sometimes we have to feel confident that we made the best decision possible and just move forward."
If you feel that you need support with a difficult friendship you should talk to someone you trust.
"Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem.

If you’re in good mental health, you can:

•Make the most of your potential
•Cope with life
Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends

Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as good physical health. Mental health problems range from the worries we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions. The majority of people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on."
We are all told frequently how important it is to be physically healthy but it is not as common to hear that being healthy mentally should be a priority too. As a society we don't talk about mental health much which is odd because It is said that 1 in 4 people will suffer with mental health problems and on the list of ways to help yourself number one is 'Talking about your feelings'. Having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of and the more we speak about it the more we will realise how common it is.

"You can keep yourself in good mental health by;
Talking about your feelings.
Keeping active
Eating well
Drinking sensibly
Keeping in touch with friends and loved ones
Asking for help when you need it
Taking a break
Doing something you’re good at and enjoy
Accepting who you are
Caring for others"
"Whether we call it well-being, emotional welfare or mental health, it’s key to living a fulfilling life."
If you have any concerns about your own health you should contact your GP.
"Depression is different from feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another, usually due to a particular cause. A person suffering from depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness, and the feelings stay with them instead of going away.

Depression can happen to anyone. Many successful and famous people who seem to have everything going for them battle with this problem. Depression also affects people of every age."
"Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it's not a sign of weakness or something you can 'snap out of'' by 'pulling yourself together'.

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery from depression."
Signs and symptoms of depression to look out for;
•Tiredness and loss of energy.
•Sadness that doesn’t go away.
•Loss of self-confidence and self-esteem.
•Difficulty concentrating.
•Not being able to enjoy things that are usually pleasurable or interesting.
•Feeling anxious all the time.
•Avoiding other people, sometimes even your close friends.
•Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
•Sleeping problems - difficulties in getting off to sleep or waking up much earlier than usual.
•Very strong feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
•Finding it hard to function at work/college/school.
•Loss of appetite.
•Loss of sex drive and/or sexual problems.
•Physical aches and pains.
•Thinking about suicide and death.
"Treatment for depression involves either medication or talking treatments, or usually a combination of the two. The kind of treatment that your doctor recommends, will be based on the type of depression you have." If you are worried about your own mental health or that of someone you know then you should talk to someone. Often the hardest part of getting help is taking the first steps and telling someone how you feel, but those first steps are the ones which lead to feeling better.
If you have any concerns about your own health you should contact your GP.
"Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It is a way of expressing deep emotional feelings such as low self-esteem, or a way of coping with traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one."
A common misconception about self harm is that everyone who does it are attention seekers or that they all want to die. Now in some cases there may be an element of truth (for some people), but not the majority. Self harm is not a sign that someone is likely to hurt you or others around you. For most people self harm is a way of controlling something in a crazy world where other (more stressful or traumatic) things can't be controlled. Self harm is a method of coping and often masks an underlying issue.
Self harm for most, is a very secretive behaviour which is why addressing it has to be done with sensitivity and understanding.
"Some forms that self harm can take include:

•Cutting, burning, biting
•Substance abuse
•Head banging and hitting
•Taking personal risks
•Picking and scratching
•Neglecting oneself
•Pulling out hair
•Eating disorders
•Over dosing and self-poisoning."
"There is no 'typical' person who self harms. It can be anyone. An individual who self harms can not and should not be stereotyped; they can be of all ages, any sex, sexuality or ethnicity and of different employment status etc."
If you have any concerns about your own health you should contact your GP. If you need to speak to someone urgently and are worried about your own safety you could also contact The Samaritans.
http://www.samaritans.org/ , jo@samaritans.org , 08457 90 90 90.
"Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges."

OCD can present itself in different ways depending on the person. The repeated behaviour is known as a 'complusion'.
"Compulsions are repetitive physical behaviours and actions or mental thought rituals that are performed over and over again in an attempt to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsessional thoughts. Avoidance of places or situations to prevent triggering these obsessive thoughts is also considered to be a compulsion. But unfortunately, any relief that the compulsive behaviours provide is only temporary and short lived, and often reinforces the original obsession, creating a gradual worsening cycle of the OCD."
Everyone has their own particular way of doing things or can forget if they locked the door and so go to check. An OCD is diagnosed as being such when the obsessions and compulsions:

"•Consume excessive amounts of time (approximately an hour or more)
•Cause significant distress and anguish
•Interfere with daily functioning at home, school or work, including social activities and family life and relationships."
"Receiving appropriate treatment, the highest quality standards of care and support and sticking to the treatment plan is the key to long term recovery."
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
"Bi-polar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mood disorder characterised by swings in a person’s mood from high to low - euphoric to depressed."
"There are several options for treating bi-polar disorder that can make a difference."
If you are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP.
The advice given to those with bi-polar includes;

"There are a number of things you can do to help manage depressive phases.
Take control. Some people find it helps if they have some control over what happens to them. This helps to guard against the hopelessness associated with depression.
•Make a fresh start. This has been shown to help people recover from long-lasting depression.
•Set small and manageable goals - this can give you a sense of achievement and make you feel better.
•Keep in touch with your friends. If you are already depressed you may find it very difficult to be sociable, and this can make you feel more depressed.
•Keep active. Exercise can be very helpful in counteracting depression.
•Review your diet. People who are depressed may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids that are found in fish oils.
•Try self-help techniques - for example, meditation and listening to music."
"There are also some things you can do that can help stop you going high.

•Take control. Be aware of how you are feeling and when you are heading towards hypomania so that you can plan for and reduce the worst effects.
•Sleeping tablets and tranquillisers may help if taken early on, but be careful not to overdo this.
•Get plenty of rest, even if you don’t really feel like it.
•Cancel most of your plans for the next few weeks. The less you have to think about the better.
•Avoid stimulants, like alcohol, coffee and any kind of recreational drugs."
"The high and low phases of bipolar disorder are often so extreme that they interfere with everyday life.
The relationship between sleep and mental health is a significant one.

"Sometimes, lack of sleep contributes significantly to the development of serious mental health problems."
"Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam or having a medical test or job interview.

Feeling anxious is sometimes perfectly normal. However, people with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and often affect their daily life."
Anxiety can sometimes lead to Panic Attacks. "A panic attack is an exaggeration of the body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement. It is the rapid build-up of overwhelming sensations, such as a pounding heartbeat, feeling faint, sweating, nausea, chest pains, breathing discomfort, feelings of losing control, shaky limbs and legs turning to jelly."
Small amounts of anxiety are to be expected throughout life and can sometimes even be useful but continued amounts of large anxiety can have significant short-term and long-term effects. Anxiety can be the foundations for other mental health issues such as OCD so it is important to deal with anxiety before it escalates.
If you have concerns about the anxiety you face you should contact your GP as there are treatments available to help you.
We can all go through phases of unsettled sleep where we may experience loss of sleep. Prolonged periods of sleep problems can leave you with more than a serious case of yawning which is why it is important to do something about it. You can find a range of useful tips via The Mind website; http://www.mind.org.uk/help/diagnoses_and_conditions/sleep_problems/sleep_problems.
"It's difficult to define what normal sleep is as everyone is different. Your age, lifestyle, environment and diet all play a part in influencing the amount of sleep you need.

The most common symptoms of insomnia are:

•difficulty falling asleep
•waking up during the night
•waking up early in the morning
•feeling irritable and tired and finding it difficult to function during the day."
Anxiety and depression can be caused by sleep problems or may have caused the problems with sleep.
If you are concerned about your relationship with sleep you should contact your GP.
"Drinking alcohol is linked to both anxiety and depression. A recent British survey found that people suffering from anxiety or depression were twice as likely to be heavy or problem drinkers. Alcohol has also been linked to self-harm, suicide and psychosis.

Apart from affecting your mental health, consuming alcohol also affects your memory and brain function. Soon after drinking alcohol, brain processes slow down."
Drinking alcohol responsibly can be part of a healthy and sociable lifestyle. Lets be honest, alcohol in moderation is fun and sometimes tastes nice. Binge drinking, on the other hand, has become more of an issue within our modern society. We associate drinking in excess with turning 18, being a student or any major significant event. Drinking in excess may not seem a problem during the event but it can have a serious impact upon decisions, actions, the state of your health in the morning and long term can cause complications. That's why it is important to know the facts.
"The short term health risks of alcohol include:

Sexual difficulties such as impotence
Impaired judgement leading to accidents and injuries
Slowed breathing and heartbeat
Loss of consciousness
Suffocation through choking on your own vomit (aspiration)
Potentially fatal poisoning"
Becoming addicted to alcohol or using alcohol as a way of coping with life can also lead to serious health issues which ultimately can lead to an early death. "You may need help if; you always feel the need to have a drink, you get into trouble because of your drinking, Other people warn you about how much you’re drinking."
If you are concerned about your relationship with alcohol and the impact on your health you should contact your GP.
Alcohol may seem like fun but the effects on body, mind, addiction and ultimately your life means that alcohol is something to be taken seriously. If you are worried about yourself or someone you know you should take action and seek help.
Smoking is bad for you.
Smoking is bad for your finances.
Smoking makes you smell bad.
Smoking ruins your teeth.
Smoking affects your skin.
Smoking damages your lungs.
Smoking damages your fertility.
Smoking impacts the blood flow around your body.
Smoking lowers the pleasure you receive when having sex.
Smoking damages the people around you.
Smoking damages your sense of taste and smell.
Smoking will ultimately reduce your life span.
Smoking increases your chances of cancer.
Smoking is bad for you.

It's simple really, nothing good comes from smoking. The dangers of smoking are highly publicised. Everyone knows smoking is bad for you but people continue to smoke.

Some people feel they are addicted to smoking or that they need smoking to help them cope with their stress but "Scientific studies show that people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking." Quitting smoking is easy for some and much more difficult for others but however hard the process it will lead to improved health and finances. If you want to quit smoking then there are resources and support available to you. There is never a 'right' time to quit smoking but there are always reasons to.

"If people don't love themselves enough to cut down on their smoking, they may love someone else enough to do it."
If you want to quit smoking or are concerned about the impact of smoking on your health you should contact your GP.
There are a multitude of drugs which are obtainable on the streets or over the internet, All of these drugs carry varying levels of legality and can impact you in a range of ways. All drugs which are not prescribed by a medical professional (whether bought over the internet or from a drugs dealer) carry serious risks and you should know your facts before considering using them. This presentation will provide information on cannabis but information on all drugs can be found at http://www.talktofrank.com/.
Cannabis; Aka: Bud, Dope, draw, grass, hash, Mary Jane, Marijuana, Pot, Puff, resin, skunk, weed.
Even if they say they are legal it doesn't mean they are harmless. When you take drugs you risk damaging your physical and mental health. In addition, a record of using drugs will impair your chances of traveling to other countries, undertaking the University course you want to or getting the career you want.
"Cannabis is a Class B drug – it’s illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell. Possession is illegal whatever you’re using it for, including pain relief. The penalty is up to five years in jail."
Cannabis is known (by reputation not fact) as one of the most harmless of drugs. Many want to legalise cannabis usage as they believe it to be less damaging than alcohol or tobacco smoking. Whatever your opinion is, when all three can cause lasting damage it's probably best not to think of it as a competition.

Cannabis is not harmless and does cause damage to your body and mind. Those effects include paranoia, anxiety, risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses, increased risk of lung cancer, impact upon heart rate and blood pressure, fertility, decreased motivation and concentration.
With any drug that you choose to take it is important to remember that the supplier does not care about you or your health and only cares about the money. There is no guarantee that what others say you are taking is actually what you are taking.
If you are concerned about your drug use, addiction or the impact of it on your health you should contact your GP.
Know your facts. Know what you are taking. Know the consequences.
If you are financially struggling and this is affecting your progress at College there are people you can speak to who can offer advice, support and, depending on your situation, may even be able to practically help you.
The Finance Department is located in the main Reception and they have a finance hatch which is open between 12.45 - 1.00 or alternatively you can ask your Personal Tutor to arrange an appointment with someone in Finance for you.
Don't struggle in silence, people can only help you if they know there is a problem.
You may also be starting to worry about whether your financial situation will prevent you from attending University or other forms of Higher Education. There is help available to you depending on your situation and there are people at College who can advise you if you have concerns in this area. It is worth either visiting the 'Progression Department' or speaking to your Personal Tutor.
"Financial abuse is a subtler kind of abuse, but one that can trap victims as effectively as the most brutal violence."
Financial abuse (or material abuse) is defined as the "illegal taking, misuse or concealment of funds, property or assets." Simply put it is...

"someone making you take your money out of the cash machine for them
taking money from you
borrowing money and never giving it back
stealing your belongings
someone getting you to sign something and you don't know what it is
someone taking your pension or other benefit
someone asking for money for visiting you socially."

It is often assumed that the elderly are the only ones who can be and are financially abused but financial abuse can occur to anyone.
If you are concerned that you or someone you know is being financially abused you should speak to someone you trust. If you are worried about someone's safety then you should contact the Police.
If you have struggled with finance you may be tempted to loan or 'borrow' money.
"If you are under 18, you can't apply for credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans and hire purchase schemes. That said, you could fall into debt in other ways, such as borrowing money from your friends or your parents.

No matter how old you are or what your level of debt is, it's important to understand how debt can mount up. It's also important to know how to deal with debt problems if you ever face them in the future."
Borrowing money from friends can seem like a quick and easy solution to money troubles but it can cause more problems and end friendships.
Learning to live within the finances you have will ensure that in the future you will be able to handle you money so that you avoid these difficult situations. If you need to borrow money when you are over 18 it is likely that you will look to an overdraft, credit card or loan. All of these will incur a high interest rate and therefore potentially further debt.
If you are worried about your financial situation you should speak to someone you trust and seek advice before borrowing money.
"The first stage to getting out of debt is to work out exactly how much you owe and who you owe it to. You can do this by taking a thorough look at your monthly bank statements and making a list of all your outgoings over the course of a typical month. The debts that you need to tackle first are the ones that have the most serious consequences if you miss a payment."
"Owing more money than you can afford to repay is a daunting prospect, especially when you're young, but there are a number of options you can take and there is help available."
If you are worried about your financial situation you should speak to someone you trust and seek advice.
You may be tempted to borrow more money to pay off other debts but will only end up creating a cycle where all of your income goes on repaying debt. There are a lot of adverts for consolidation loans which pay off multiple debts and offer you one loan to manage the repayments of. Taking out a loan should be a last resort because it is essentially another 'borrowing of money' and loans can have a lot of disadvantages.
"Debt's a symptom, not the problem. Before tackling, it you must reduce your spending. Not only to stop you borrowing more, but to maximise repayments."
There will be times in your life when getting a loan or being in debt is a necessity to live, in order to progress in life, like buying a house or like student loans. If you have the luxury of being able to live without borrowing money, facing debt or taking out loans to survive then you should try to continue this for as long as possible.
"Sexual abuse is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact. Sexual abuse can happen to men or women of any age. Sexual abuse by a partner/intimate can include derogatory name calling, refusal to use contraception, deliberately causing unwanted physical pain during sex, deliberately passing on sexual diseases or infections and using objects, toys, or other items without consent and to cause pain or humiliation."
Sexual abuse can happen at any age and to any gender. Sexual abuse can happen without anyone actually touching you. If someone makes you watch them conduct a sexual act or view sexual material that you do not want to it is also considered sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can often produce feelings of guilt and shame which can result in sufferers not wanting to speak about it but not talking about it can result in further negative feelings, damage future relationships and could impact your mental health.
"Sex when you don't want it is an abuse of you, and sexual abuse from someone you know is confusing and destroys trust. People who sexually abuse others are sometimes very skilful at making those they abuse feel guilty and ashamed about what happened so that they keep quiet about it. Sexual abuse can make you feel unsafe and dirty. If someone sexually abuses you the responsibility for what happened is theirs, not yours."
Sexual abuse and rape may have happened in a person's past but the effects may still be felt today or for years to come. It can be beneficial to talk to someone you trust about the feelings or issues you may have because of this. Talking about it won't make it go away but it can help build strategies for coping with it and release the emotion attached to it.
If you are worried about the mental and physical repercussions of sexual abuse you should speak to your GP. If you are concerned that you or someone that you know is in danger you should alert the Police. If you don't feel able to do this ensure you speak to a Safeguarding Officer at College.
"Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse — sometimes even more so."
Emotional abuse involves the abuser undermining the sufferer's self-confidence and self-esteem so that they feel helpless. This can happen in relationships so that the sufferer of the abuse feels that they have no option but to stay in their situations. Emotional abusers can be anyone such as, parents, employers, colleagues, partners.
Due to the nature of emotional abuse it can be difficult to identify as being abuse. However, this does not mean it is any more forgivable than any other type of abuse and that it won't also leave lasting effects upon the individual.
If you are worried about the impact emotional abuse has had upon your mental health you should speak to your GP. If you are concerned that you or someone that you know is in danger you should alert the Police. If you don't feel able to do this ensure you speak to a Safeguarding Officer at College.
"The sad reality is that most abusers stay abusive - there's nothing you can do to stop their behaviour. If this is the case, and they are not willing to work on changing, think long and hard about ways to get out of the situation and away from the abuse."
Physical abuse is defined as an abuse which involves a "Non-accidental use of force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment. This includes, but is not limited to, being slapped, burned, cut, bruised or improperly physically restrained."
"The harm caused by physical abuse can range from minor injuries to major trauma. These can include:

•burns or scalds
•bite marks
•drowning or suffocating
•head injuries caused by a blow or by shaking
•fabricated or induced illness.
The experience of being harmed may, also, cause mental health and behavioural problems, such as:

•depression and anxiety
•aggression and violence
•problems with relationships and socialising
•trying to hide injuries under clothing
•running away from home
•being distant and withdrawn.
Physical abuse during childhood can affect a person later in life as an adult, for example, it can cause conditions such as post traumatic stress disorder."
Like other types of abuse there is no singular formula for or 'type' of person who is likely to abuse or be abused. However, like all other types of abuse, no one deserves to go through it. If you or someone you know is being physically abused it is important to speak to someone so that help and support can be accessed. You do not have to go through it alone.
If you are worried about the mental and physical repercussions of physical abuse you should speak to your GP. If you are concerned that you or someone that you know is in danger you should alert the Police. If you don't feel able to do this ensure you speak to a Safeguarding Officer at College.
"Hate Crimes happen because of hostility, prejudice or hatred of:

•gender identity
•race, ethnicity or nationality
•religion or belief
•sexual orientation.

They include things like name calling and verbal abuse, bullying and harassment, spitting and physical attacks, damage to property, graffiti, and written notes, emails and text messages." "Whether it amounts to a crime or not, it is still referred to as a hate crime."
A hate crime is a form of abuse based upon a specific feature of a person's identity.
Surrey Police state; "We are committed to reducing the fear of crime and making public places safer. But we cannot do it alone. Help the police to help you by reporting crimes and incidents to us. Left unreported, the offenders are free to commit similar offences again - indeed many offenders consider minority communities an easy target because they think they won't be reported."
Reporting a hate crime will help prevent it happening again. You can report a hate crime anonymously through the Surrey Police website http://www.surrey.police.uk/contact-us
Everyone has the right to feel safe. Discrimination and prejudice are no longer acceptable in our society and therefore neither are hate crimes.
"Domestic Violence is described as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality.’ (Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.)"
"Domestic violence is where one person harms another person with whom they have (or have had) some sort of relationship. They do not need to be heterosexual partners and they do not need to live in the same property. Both women and men can experience domestic violence."
No matter what the relationship with a person is no one has the right to harm, attack or threaten you. Domestic Violence can feel hard to escape from as the sufferer may feel reliant upon their abuser for finance or accommodation but there are other options available.

"Whatever the abuser might say, violence like this is never your fault. Nobody has the right to abuse you in this way. You may be made to feel responsible and guilty for the abuse but the source of the problem is the abuser, not you."

If you or someone you know is facing Domestic Violence there is help and support available to you. You do not need to suffer in silence.
If you are worried about the mental and physical repercussions of domestic violence you should speak to your GP. If you are concerned that you or someone that you know is in danger you should alert the Police. If you don't feel able to do this ensure you speak to a Safeguarding Officer at College.
If you feel that you are ready to have sex you need to consider contraception. Contraception is used to ensure that a baby is not conceived and also to prevent the passing on of diseases and infections. If you choose not to use contraception then you choose to risk becoming a parent or becoming sick...both of these things are potentially life changing.

The only contraceptive device which is 100% reliable in preventing baby making and preventing STIs and STDs is abstinence (not having sex.) Aside from this, here are some of your options..

Condom (there is both a male condom and a female condom)
The Pill
The Diaphragm or The Cap
The Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Implantable Contraception
The Contraceptive Patch
Emergency Contraception (also referred to as The Morning After Pill)
Some contraceptive devices are used 'in the moment', some daily and some monthly. It is best to do your research into what contraceptive device would suit your lifestyle and your health. Different contraception can offer different levels of protection and effectiveness. For example, the male condom is only 98% effective. In addition, some contraceptive will offer protection from the passing on of infections and diseases through penetrative sex but not oral sex. Know the facts and make the right choices because ultimately it will be you that has to face the responsibility for your actions.

Neither males or females should accept any excuses about contraception because the consequences can be life changing (and potentially the sex may not even be worth it!)
If you require advice about contraception or are concerned about your own health you should contact your GP. Family Planning Clinics can also offer you accurate advice and contraceptive methods.
"Sexually transmitted diseases (also known as STDs — or STIs for "sexually transmitted infections") are infectious diseases that spread from person to person through intimate contact. STDs can affect guys and girls of all ages and backgrounds who are having sex."
S.T.D.s are not only spread through unprotected sex but can also be spread through skin to skin contact (this is the case with herpes or genital warts.) Therefore S.T.D.s can be spread through vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex and skin to skin contact. It is really important to protect yourself from the risk of STIs and STDs using contraception and going for regular check ups at a Sexual Health Clinic.
"STDs are more than just an embarrassment. They're a serious health problem. If untreated, some STDs can cause permanent damage, such as infertility (the inability to have a baby) and even death (in the case of HIV/AIDS)."
Types of STDs include;
Genital Warts
Genital Herpes
Pubic Lice
You should know the signs and symptoms of these conditions and ensure that you are aware of the facts so that you can access treatment quickly.
If you require further information about STDs or STIs you should seek advice and information. If you are concerned about your health you should contact your GP immediately.
In the old days forms of homosexual sex were not considered to classify as 'sex'. Therefore, homosexual sex was considered to not have the same risks as heterosexual sex. Heterosexual Sex Education is taught in schools but L.G.B.T Sexual Education, and sexual health, is usually not. This again suggests that there are no risks attached to L.G.B.T. sex and this couldn't be further from the truth. When you feel ready to have sex with anyone of any gender or sexuality it is important to do your research and use protection so that you are safe.
Sex between two women can also transmit S.T.I.s ""Women can catch STIs such as herpes, genital warts and chlamydia when exchanging bodily fluids," "Any one-on-one contact, such as oral sex or using the same hand when touching yourself and then your partner, can put you at risk." It is as important for two women to consider protection when having sex (INSERT LINK) as it is when having heterosexual sex.
The most efficient form of protection for two men to use when having sex is a condom. Not using a condom will leave you more at risk of S.T.I.s. and potentially the HIV virus which can develop into serious illnesses and even become life threatening. “Gay men should have a check-up at least every six months at a sexual health clinic, because for some infections you will not see any symptoms,"

In the same way that heterosexual people are offered contraception, protection and regular sexual health check ups, the L.G.B.T community should also access this. L.G.B.T. sex has the same impact on emotional, mental and physical states as heterosexual sex does and unfortunately also offers the same risks.
"If you have any of the symptoms above or are worried you may have an STI, speak to your GP or visit a GUM clinic. Getting tested regularly is a good idea to ensure you have a healthy sex life. NHS services are free."
If you or your partner become pregnant you will be faced with some big decisions and have to deal with your own emotional responses (and potentially that of others).
"Whatever you feel, you now need to think about what to do. It is important to take time to make the decision that’s right for you, but it’s also important not to delay making your decision."
One of the first things to do is to ensure that the test you have taken is accurate. The best way to do this is to seek advice from a medical professional and take another test using their services. The medical professional you see (doctor, nurse, sexual health clinic representative) will also be able to go through your options and highlight some support networks / information points.
"Talking to people you trust, and getting accurate information about all your options, can help you make up your mind. You may want to talk to your partner, family or friends, or you may feel more comfortable speaking to someone who isn’t so close to you. The following services can talk confidentially with you, free of charge, about how you feel about the pregnancy and what options you have:

•your local surgery (talk to your doctor or nurse)
•a contraception or sexual health clinic
•a young people’s service (these will have an upper age limit)
•FPA: call the helpline on 0845 122 8690."
If you are concerned about your health you should contact your GP immediately.
When it comes to advice about an individual's options it is really important to seek it from a non - biased source (e.g. if you want to know about abortions do not go to an anti - abortion clinic to seek advice as they may pressure you into doing something you do not want to do). It is also really important to seek advice and information as soon as possible so that you have every option available to you.
"Unwanted sexual attention covers a huge range of behaviours from being touched without permission causing fear, alarm or distress, sexual name calling and harassment all the way to rape and sexual assault. Unwanted sexual attention can happen to both women and men and happen between people of the same and opposite sex"
Unwanted sexual attention can happen anywhere from a club, to inappropriate comments on your Facebook photos, to the work place (classifying as sexual harrassment). All of these forms are unacceptable.
Here are some tips on dealing with unwanted sexual attention;

Diffuse the situation by distraction,, change of topic or by maintaining a physical distance.
Avoid being alone with the individual.
Report the situation to a superior (even in a club telling the Bouncer can ensure the individual is removed.)
Monitor your behaviour. If you are out in a club and are suffering unwanted sexual attention avoid drinking too much and stay close to friends.
If the unwanted sexual attention develops into unwanted physical sexual behaviour or you fear for your safety you should alert the Police immediately.
If you are concerned about your physical and / or mental health you should contact your GP. POLICE
Welcome to the 'What To Do If...'. The 'What To Do If...' was created to offer guidance and support for situations which people can find difficult to talk about. I hope that it will work as a directory for support and information and act as a reminder that there is always help available. Some of the information and topics may be sensitive to some people and you should ensure that you are in 'safe' place before reading on.

It is not supposed to be presented as one GIANT power point but dipped in and out of depedning on the situation. The topics have been categorised so that you can access individual issues rather than 'click' through the entire Prezi.

This is not intended to replace professional help or suggest that it is avoidable. Conversely, it is to highlight the extensive support available in addition to that of medical professionals.
I hope that you find what you are looking for on the 'What To Do If...' and are encouraged to speak to someone about what you are dealing with or feeling.

Things really do get better,
'Cyber Bullying'
Being a young carer
As we get older and more mature (well some of us) we dismiss 'bullying as something that happens to children by other children. When in reality what actually happens is that bullying is re-labelled as 'harassment' and there are legal repercussions as consequences rather than detentions.

Whether you want to call it 'Cyber Bullying' or 'Cyber Harrassment' it is a serious issue.

"Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others."

"There are lots of different types of cyberbullying. These are the main ones:; Emai.l, Instant messenger and chatrooms, Social networking sites, Mobile phone, Interactive gaming, Sending viruses, Abusing personal information."

There have also been cases where an individual has had their personal (sometimes sexual) pictures / videos taken and distributed them around the internet, the consequences of which usually being jail. The only way to prevent this kind of incident is to not let anyone have access to this type of photo or video. Once something is on the interent millions could access it, it is just not worth it.

"If someone is bullying you on your own social profile page, you should:

keep and save any bullying emails or images you have been sent
take a screenshot of any comments that are threatening, but then delete them so you don’t have to read them again
make a note of the time and date that messages or images were sent, along with any details you have about the sender
try changing your online user ID or nickname
not reply to any bullying messages or get into any online arguments
don’t forget that anything you post online can be seen by anyone, including your parents, your boss or your teachers."
Whatever the problem is, talking about it to someone you trust will be a positive step.

In an ideal situation everyone you choose to speak to would offer non - biased, inpartial advice without an emotional response. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case...so chose who you speak to carefully.

If you need to speak to someone immediately you should contact The Samaritans. The Samaritans - http://www.samaritans.org/ , jo@samaritans.org , 08457 90 90 90.

At College you could choose to speak to a Personal Tutor, the College Counsellor or a Safeguarding Office.

Do everything you can to offer yourself the best chance, access to the best opportunities and all the happiness you should have.
The Future can feel like a scary place. Some people will know exactly what they want to become or study whilst others just have no clue. The thing about being in the position where you haven't decided what to do with your future is that you have a wide variety of options available to you.

Some of these options include;

Accessing apprenticeships
Progressing to Higher Education
Taking a gap year
Entering the workplace
Whilst you don't know what it is you are working towards it can feel that you aren't helping yourself towards a future. There are ways around this and you can start preparing for your future now by;

Working your hardest at College so that you allow yourself to reach your potential. Retakes and third years can help progression but can also waste time.
Gaining work experience in a variety of employment sectors.
Researching possible pathways.
Seeking advice from The Progression Department.
If you are struggling with your plans after College then you should speak to your Personal Tutor and The Progression Department. If you are struggling with your learning at College and are worried you are not achieving what you could you should speak to The Learning Support Department.
If you are experiencing 'Cyber Bullying' you should speak to someone you trust. Often speaking to someone about an issue can make you feel less alone and confident enough to begin dealing with it.
"Young carers are children or young people who look after someone in their family who has an illness, a disability, a mental health problem or a substance misuse problem. They may be taking on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that an adult would normally do."
Being a young carer can have a real impact upon your studies, your emotions and your mental health. It can be an extra responsibilty which leads to added stress and affects other areas of your life. There are services available (including financial) which can help young carers and these can be accessed via your Doctor or Local Authority.
Being a young carer should not limit your own opportunities. You should make time for fun and relaxation. If this is not happening it may be time to evaluate the needs in your home and access the help available.
If you are concerned about your own health or that of the person you care for you should speak to your GP immediately.
Full transcript