Last week SAMH called for urgent action to support the mental wellbeing of young people. They say 1,838 young people were rejected from getting support from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the last three months. The World Health Organisation tells us worldwide 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental illness. These are alarming figures for sure, but it’s not all bad news.
Now, more than ever, charities, support organisations, and the mainstream are working to raise awareness of the mental wellbeing of young people, in addition to the recent high-profile campaigns targeting adults. It really feels like positive change is happening and not just spoken about. It is only natural then that if we can support younger people by offering them the support and courage to speak up as well as equipping them with the tools they need take care of their themselves they will grow to be more resilient adults.
I have suffered from mental health issues most of my life, but I was only properly diagnosed 6 years ago. Looking back to my childhood I can see several points when I really struggled. I can’t help but wonder what sort of a person I’d be now if a parent or teacher had recognised I needed support and helped me get it back then. That was the 1980’s and things have moved on a lot since. It’s brilliant to see organisations like SAMH, See Me, or LGBT Youth Scotland running high profile campaigns in support of young people with mental difficulties. I think the importance of adults being able to recognise the signs of mental stress in kids and knowing how help them get the help they need can’t be understated.
This post was inspired by a news article I read the other day about a teenager who was inspired to write a book explaining mental health issues to children after her own experiences with illness during childhood.