Over the past couple of years I have heard so many heart breaking stories about young people having to deal with the kind of mental health problems that most of us would struggle with. What's worse, is that the struggle is made all the more harder by such poor mental health provision for children. Over half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time - and this has to change. Charities like Young Minds are actively working to address this.
Before you read some more stats (but feel free to donate right now!), I wanted to tell you about a young friend who at the age of 10, was found trying to take his life. He didn't really know why, only that it meant he might escape from the unbearable weight of emotional pain he was experiencing. Well, somehow, against all the odds, he survived, and somehow he and his family have managed to pull through. But lets be clear, there is still so much that needs to happen, and so much that should have happened that didn't. And, that is why I am supporting Young Minds - please be generous.
Now, in case you were thinking my young friend is just a one off, He is NOT
1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 - 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder - that is around 3 in every class
Between 1 in 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm and around 25,000 are admitted to hospital every year due to the severity of their injuries
Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression
Over 8,000 children under 10 years old suffer from severe depression
45% 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 type
So, please be generous, because without the work Young Minds do we have little hope of seeing those numbers go down.
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references for all those stats:
1 Green, H., McGinnity, A., Meltzer, H., et al. (2005). Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain 2004. London: Palgrave. See www.statistics.gov.uk 2 Mental Health Foundation (2006). Truth hurts: report of the National Inquiry into self-harm among young people. London: Mental Health Foundation
3 Fox, C. & Hawton, K. (2004). Deliberate self-harm in adolescence. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
4 Kim-Cohen, J., Caspi, A., Moffitt, TE., et al (2003): Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder. Archives of general psychiatry, Vol 60, pp.709-717
5 Office for National Statistics (2004). Census 2001: national report for England and Wales. London: Office for National Statistics.
6 Office for National Statistics (2004). Census 2001: national report for England and Wales. London: Office for National Statistics
7 Meltzer, H., Gatward, R., Corbin, T., et al. (2003). The mental health of young people looked after by local authorities in England. London: Stationery Office.
8 Office for National Statistics (1997): Psychiatric morbidity among young offenders in England and Wales. London: Office for National Statistics.