By Sarah McNamara
Sarah McNamara, a clinical psychologist experienced in teenage mental health, writes that "stress is a natural part of life". She's surely right.
As my older daughter once said when I was worried about her sister: "Nobody can be happy all the time, Dad."
That said, there has been an increase in teenage suicide, self-harm and eating disorders, and a consequent need for advice in dealing with young people who suffer from these problems. Dr McNamara is well qualified to provide it. Everything she writes here is well founded both in theory and in common sense: having enough to eat, sleeping well, not drinking too much, enjoying life, not worrying about things that you can't control. The implicit message is that there aren't any magical shortcuts, but that by the application of some clear, simple techniques, you can start to feel better.
I particularly like her section on confidence: "Suggest that if they are unsure about starting out on something, they give it their best shot for a while and see what happens." And: "An important thing to communicate is how many people who appear confident are actually not so."
Much has been written about stress, some of it not very sensible or practical. Here we have a contribution from someone who knows what she's talking about.