Nipping Mental Health Disorders In The Bud
by Bryan Woods
The statistics are shocking. In Britain today, one in six children aged from five to sixteen are likely to have a mental health problem. (That is up from one in nine children in 2017.). There has been a 77% rise in the number of children requiring specialist treatment for severe mental health crisis.
This urgent need is unfortunately not being met. As the Mental Health Foundation points out, “Alarmingly, 75% of children and young people who experience mental health problems aren’t getting the help they need.“
Research has shown that over 50% of all mental health issues start before the age of 14. These include self-harm, eating disorders, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), and depression.
There are a number of potential causes for mental health problems in children. Among them are abuse or neglect, domestic violence, online bullying, and parental mental health or substance abuse problems.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also had a hugely adverse impact on children’s mental health. So too has the current cost of living crisis. Many children are also anxious about the growing climate emergency.
Today children are growing up in a world that is a breeding ground for anxiety, stress, and depression. The dice are loaded against them when it comes to getting the help they so desperately need.
A charity that is doing something about this crisis is Nip in the Bud. This was set up to encourage awareness about mental health disorders in children.
Working with mental health professionals, Nip in the Bud produce free online short films and fact sheets. These help parents, teachers, and others working with children, to recognise potential mental health conditions.
The aim of Nip in the Bud is to increase the prospects of early intervention, and so avoid mental health conditions in children from becoming more serious in later years.
Nip in the Bud have produced some very informative films and fact sheets on Child Mental Health Conditions. These cover eating disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and OCD.
Other topics include Neurodivergent Conditions such as ADHD, Autism, and Conduct Disorders. A Well-being Section covers Coronavirus, Emotional Well-being, and Self-Harm. There is also a useful Where to Get Help page. This contains information on organisations which can help to give more support.
Another welcome initiative is Children’s Mental Health Week. First launched in 2015 by the charity Place2Be, it took place this year from February 6th to February 13th. The theme was “Let’s Connect” – encouraging healthy, rewarding, and meaningful connections.
We need to look after and cherish the mental health of our children. Then they will be less likely to have to seek help when they become adults, and avoid the need to become clients of Hammersley Homes.