This week is Children’s Mental Health Week, so we are highlighting the importance of funding and research needed in the UK for both children and adults mental health.
Did you know that 1 in 10 children and young people in the UK experience mental health problems? According to mental health.org.uk, a worry 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. That’s probably because of changes in the way we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.
Here’s a story about a girl who committed suicide published last year in the Daily Mirror. A heartbroken mum whose daughter took her own life after being bullied on Snapchat.Megan Evans, 14, was found dead at her home after a secret battle against cyber-bullies that she kept from her parents.
Children are now in a society where technology runs everything, and if you haven’t got the latest phone or computer, your child could be at risk of being bullied just for that reason. There is also a lot of online bullying which can lead to many children and young people trying to or taking their own lives.
The Cyberbullying hotline claims that 42% of teenagers with tech access report being cyber bullied over the past year. Of the 69% of teens that own their own computer or smartphone, 80% are active on social media with the average teen sending 60 texts per day – reducing face-to-face communication skills.
Other children like Elle Homes take their own lives despite showing no signs of being depressed. The Teenager was just 15-years-old when she took her life.
In the Daily Express, her mother described her as the “ a dream child”.
Elle Holmes is also described as a brilliant, popular and gifted schoolgirl who showed no signs of depression in the run-up to her sudden death.
Her mother Leigh said the youngster had a “spiral into darkness” that occurred over just a few hours where she became overwhelmed and “snapped”.
She later discovered her daughter had been visiting pro-anorexia websites and was self-harming as she suffered modern pressures surrounding her image.
“I don’t know why my loved, brilliant, popular, talented, funny baby made that decision. She left no note.
“She said nothing to the little brother she adored. No word to her boyfriend, or her close inner circle of friends.
“There was no long-suffering depression, or a slow descent into despair.
“The spiral into darkness seemed to occur over just a few short hours as her mind became overwhelmed and she simply snapped.
“Nobody who saw her in the weeks and days and hours before her death would have said that this was a child suffering from depression.”
Children’s Mental Health needs to be highlighted and address before they become adults, as the illness won’t just go away if ignored. Sadly too many children are suffering from mental health due to the changes in today’s society such as peer pressure, social media and the media.
What’s even worse is that there isn’t enough research and funding into mental health and therefore there isn’t a cure, and there aren’t enough facilities for mental health patients both old and young to get the help that is required.
Are you aware of Children’s mental health week? If you have a child who is suffering from mental health, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.