YOUNG PEOPLE AND MENTAL HEALTH
To many, this is simply a title, a concept that defines an individual.
The reality of mental health is this: it’s an issue that targets every individual living on this planet.The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
As simple as that sounds, I have seen and experienced how easy it is for a young person to find themselves in a world of uncertainty.
Considering myself, being born in the early nineties to an East London household, I could say my childhood was mellow, reasonably mundane in so many words but that was the situation for most young people my age. Things weren’t so busy and it was good that way. We were afforded the time to be children. More than a decade on however, the strains of a visibly fast paced society makes it almost impossible for young people to grasp what it is that keeps the world going. Instead of sitting back and gaining an understanding of this complex system, young people seem to be hurled into a lifestyle that they are not prepared for in the slightest.
Having previously worked with Children And Adults Mental Health Service (CAMHS), I have seen the first hand effect of mental health issues that are affecting young people. It is an unfortunate reality and I believe with early identification and intervention, this can be addressed.
Young Minds report that 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder.
Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression
95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. Many of them are struggling with more than one disorder (Young Minds, 2011)
More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time. This has to change. This has to be spoken about. More focus and energy needs to be put into providing these young people with the help they need before it descends into a bigger issue.
Speaking to young people about maintaining a healthy state of mind is no small thing. Effort should be put in to ensure the correct support is in place to ensure that our young people are both physically and mentally intact.