Prioritising children and young people’s mental health is vital
YoungMinds is stressing the importance of children and young people’s good mental health and wellbeing ahead of two parliamentary debates being held today on mental health and the contribution of schools to pupils' wellbeing.
- 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 - 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder - that is around three children in every class.
- Between 1 in every 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm and around 37,000 are admitted to hospital every year due to the severity of their injuries. This has increased by 68% in the last ten years.
- More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time.
- 60% of children in care have a mental health disorder - these are some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
- 95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. Many of them are struggling with more than one disorder.
Commenting ahead of the debate on mental health in the House of Commons, Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds said:
“Last year, for the first time, a Government rightly put children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing at the forefront of its Mental Health Strategy. It is vital that this focus is maintained as the strategy turns from rhetoric into reality.
“Getting it right for children when they are young plays a key part in starting to reduce the number of people who suffer with mental illness throughout their lives.
“While the Mental Health Strategy’s emphasis on children and young people is welcome, the picture on the ground of Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services facing severe cutbacks is very concerning.”
Commenting ahead of the debate called by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch in the House of Lords on the contribution of schools to wellbeing, Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Participation, said:
“Schools have a vital role to play in supporting children’s emotional wellbeing. Promoting the emotional wellbeing of all young people, and providing effective support for those with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) gives them the skills to cope with the ups and downs of life, develop good relationships, and achieve their full potential.
“Preventing children from experiencing BESD is fundamental not only to good mental health but also to improving educational attainment, achievement and behaviour.
“YoungMinds was disappointed last year when OFSTED removed from its inspection criteria the emotional wellbeing of pupils. We believe OFSTED must emphasize the importance of children’s social and emotional wellbeing for all schools, without exception.”
You can watch the debates here http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/default.stm