850,000 CHILDREN AGED 5-16 HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
- Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health disorder.
- Roughly 725,000 people in the UK suffer from Eating Disorders, 86% of these will have shown symptoms before the age of 19.
- One in 10 deliberately harm themselves regularly (and 15,000 of them are hospitalised each year because of this).
- Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression.
- Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14.
- 45% of children in care have a mental health disorder – these are some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
- Nearly 300,000 young people in Britain have an anxiety disorder.
- 95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. Many of them are struggling with more than one disorder.
Many thousands of children and young people are isolated, unhappy, have eating disorders and self-harm; some tragically take their own lives. Many are likely to become victims of crime, grow up in dysfunctional families, or left to cope with illness, drugs and/or alcohol issues – not necessarily their own.
There is still a huge stigma around mental health which means children and young people are not getting the support they need. Mental health problems can lead to young people being disruptive, difficult, withdrawn and disturbed and it’s vital they are supported and not just ignored or told off.
What is Mental Health?
Mental Health affects all aspects of a child’s development including their cognitive abilities, their social skills as well their emotional wellbeing. Building emotional resilience is key and we believe there are core attributes seen in mentally healthy children and young people:
- The capacity to enter into and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships
- A continuing progression of psychological development
- An ability to play and to learn appropriately for their age and intellectual level
- A developing moral sense of right and wrong
- The capacity to cope with a degree of psychological distress
- A clear sense of identity and self worth
With good mental health, children and young people do better in every way. They enjoy their childhoods, are able to deal with stress and difficult times, are able to learn better, do better at school, navigate the online world they grew up in so they benefit from it and enjoy friendships and new experiences.
Childhood and teenage years are when mental health is developed and patterns are set for the future. So a child with good mental health is much more likely to have good mental health as an adult, and to be able to take on adult responsibilities and fulfill their potential.
Mental Health First Aid trained staff
We have 7 ‘Mental Health First Aiders’ at Costello who are trained to be able to help children should they be feeling stressed, down or under pressure etc. in the first instance. They have all received training via the Charlie Waller Trust in the following areas:
- Understanding and Supporting Self-Harm &/or Eating Disorders
- Understanding and Supporting Anxiety &/or Depression
- Promoting Positive Mental Health
- Developing Resilience and Coping Skills in Children and Young People
- Supporting Student Wellbeing in the Run up to Exams
- Understanding and Supporting Stress and Anxiety
- Supportive Listening Skills for Pastoral Staff
- Safely and Sensitively Teaching about Mental Health
Useful links and resources
Don’t know where to start? Mind is a leading who provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
ChatHealth is a confidential text messaging service that enables children and young people (aged 11-19) in Hampshire to send questions via SMS to their School Nursing Team. The child or young person then receives a reply that includes signposting to additional services. The ChatHealth service is available Monday-Friday 08:30-16:30. This includes school holidays, however it is closed on bank holidays. If a child texts outside of these hours they will receive a bounce-back message directing them to other sources of support in the meantime. However the ChatHealth nurses will reply to the message when ChatHealth reopens.