Living with Allergy – Youth Mental Health Day 2022

There is currently no cure for allergic disease, so those living with allergy must be constantly vigilant to avoid their allergic trigger and a potential reaction. This can cause anxiety, fear, and social isolation for the young person, as well as their family. Our recent research found that “61% of young adults living with allergy have avoided social situations because of their allergy.”

Youth Mental Health Day (22nd September) was founded by leading young person’s mental health charity stem4. Youth Mental Health Day encourages understanding and awareness of mental health in young people, enabling them to live happy and healthy lives all year round. Each year, the day aims to get young people, and those who support them, talking about how to improve mental health.

This year’s theme is #ConnectMeaningfully, focusing on the importance of building and maintaining meaningful connections and relationships. Our Youth Engagement Programme is a safe platform for young people living with allergy to come together, share experiences and have their voice heard with our support to raise awareness of allergy.

Last month we had our first in person meeting where we visited the British Museum to explore the Ancient Egypt exhibition. This was an amazing opportunity for us as a team to meet in person, strengthen our relationship, learn about the history of the ancient Egypt, and have fun.

Connecting with others and travelling while you’re young is a great and inspiring thing to do. This opportunity has helped to broaden horizons and introduce new ways of thinking and perspectives – Cedoux Kadima, Youth Engagement Officer for Allergy UK.

Nice to be with people that understand – Youth Member

Allergy can affect the wellbeing of young adults in many different ways, including:

  • Anxiety around a potential allergic reaction
  • Fear of using adrenaline auto-injectors
  • Negative relationships with food including food aversions and refusal
  • Sleep deprivation due to allergy symptoms, affecting mood and concentration at school, university, or work
  • Visible symptoms such as eczema and hives causing low self-esteem
  • Isolation around social events such as birthday parties and eating out at certain restaurants

Allergies impact every area of your life including mental health and are usually dismissed by people not aware of the impact – Young Patient

We spoke to members of our Youth Engagement Group to hear about their experiences of living with multiple allergies. Read their stories here.

What we can do to help

If you need support with your allergy or need advice on how to manage your or loved one’s allergic condition, please contact our friendly Helpline team on 01322 619898. We also have a host of information on a range of different allergic conditions which is available to download here.

Allergy UK works hard to support young adults living with all types of allergic disease. For information on how you can fundraise to help us continue to support the allergic community, please click here.

Join us today and be part of this vibrant youth Allergy UK Youth Engagement Community.