Children’s Mental Health Week
7th – 13th February 2022
By Saoirse Osborne
This week marks Children’s Mental Health Week, an annual event organised by mental health charity Place2Be to spotlight the mental health of young people.
This year’s theme is Growing Together.
Development from childhood to adolescence and adulthood is a crucial period not just for emotional development, but also in terms of mental illness.
Many mental health conditions develop during childhood:
- 75% of adults with diagnosable mental illness will have experienced their first symptoms by the age of 24.
The teenage years are peak times in particular for the development of psychotic conditions like schizophrenia.There is now strong evidence that failure to address mental health conditions when they first develop seriously limits the sufferer’s ability to lead fulfilling lives as adults – early treatment can change the severity, impairment, and likelihood of recurrence of the illness.
However, very few young people get the early help that could help make a difference: on average, sufferers of mental illness don’t access help until 10 years after the first onset of symptoms.
This appalling statistic has several causes.
The first is systemic. Our mental health systems simply aren’t good enough at supporting children as they grow into adults. One study tracking people transitioning from child mental health services to adult mental health services found that up to a third of teenagers are lost from care, and another third experience interruption in their care, during this transition.
The second is societal. Stigma still surrounds mental illness, making it so much harder for people to ask for help when they need it. One Place2Be survey found that 29% of parents would feel embarrassed if their children went to counselling, despite the fact that early intervention could make a vast difference to their children’s quality of life in the future.
Although Hammersley Homes exists to provide supported housing for adults with mental illness, we realise how crucial it is for diagnosis and treatment for children who are developing mental illness is adequate. Our goal is to reduce the loneliness and chaos suffered by too many people with mental illness – and early intervention in mental illness is vital for achieving this. This also helps us to support the families who spend their whole lives caring for their loved ones who suffer from mental illness.
Find out how you can get involved in Children’s Mental Health Week at https://www.
Or learn more about mental illness in adolescence at https://www.