As Pebble Ridge grows, it is important for me to share insight on topics that I am passionate about. From now on, I will be posting regular monthly blogs touching upon subjects within my industry.
This month, I want to start with a subject that has gained a lot of news headlines recently- mental health issues in children and young people.
Having worked in education for over 20 years and having three children myself, I am experienced with working in this area specifically. Why are mental health issues on a steady incline for younger generations? And what can be done to help tackle this?
A report conducted recently by the Children’s commissioner found that spending on children’s mental health services- such as school counsellors and drop in centres, has fallen in real terms by more than a third in areas of England.
50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14, and 75% established by the age of 25. 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet a staggering 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
The reasons behind the rise in mental health issues
It would be easy to write a whole host of blogs dedicated to the reasons behind mental health issues, but I would like to highlight a few that have a profound impact in todays society.
Social media is everywhere and not a day goes by without most younger generations uploading to Facebook, sharing stories on Instagram and checking in on their favourite influencers.
As well as physical effects such as eye strain, fatigue and lack of exercise- endless scrolling can also have profound mental effects when it comes to young people specifically.
Shirley Cramer, CBE of The Royal Society for Public Health said; “Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-indentity, express ourselves and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health”.
Another reason behind an increase in anxiety issues is stress. Exam stress for example, can have a negative impact on not only school performance but social skills, self-identity issues and a lack of motivation.
It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice-versa. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in schools, miss out on important social experiences, can suffer with eating disorders and engage in substance abuse.
An overworked and underfunded NHS
The NHS is a crucial aspect of our health services in the UK and we are so lucky to have such a hard working, dedicated network of nurses, doctors and specialists available.
Unfortunately, as we all known through the media- the NHS is also extremely underfunded and overworked, resulting in extremely long waiting times to be seen for even extreme mental health issues. Add to that the lack of readily available resources- children and adolescents are sometimes forced to travel hundreds of miles to receive adequate mental health treatment on the NHS.
What can be done?
I often see so many clients come through my doors frustrated and feeling like they have nowhere to turn.
I specialise in treating children from as young as 7 years old and always offer a FREE initial consultation. Clinical Solution Focused Hypnotherapy is great for children and young people as they often don’t know the cause of their anxiety and/or depression and/or don’t want to talk about it.
My approach when dealing with adolescents is concentrating on the future, where and how they want to be and to focus on moving them forward with their life. It’s all about focussing on the solution and how to get there, rather than eliminating the problem.
Mental health issues in children and young people is not a problem that can be solved overnight, but there are alternatives routes that you can explore to gain a positive outcome.
If you would like to know more about the services I offer at The Pebble Ridge Practice, please do get in touch! You can also follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn, so you can keep up to date with any future blogs or industry news.