Mental illness in young children is a subject that’s been garnering a fair amount of attention in recent years. In fact, a lot of celebrities are now raising their voices about the range of mental health conditions in children and young people, and how more research needs to be done to determine the underlying factors contributing to common forms of mental illnesses – like anxiety and depression, for instance.
It was reported in 2018, that mental illnesses cost the local economy £94 billion – not only that, but it happens to be the single largest cause of disability across the nation.
Four years prior to this report, the NHS released some equally unsettling figures: a quarter of UK folks – that’s 16 million to be precise – undergo some kind of mental health condition at one point in their lives. These mental health conditions can range from anxiety and depression to OCD and even suicide. It was also revealed that these conditions start to show at a rather early age, with many UK citizens experiencing mental illness symptoms under the age of 10.
Children today are engulfed deep in mental health problems
One Labour MP for Preston and member of the House of Commons Health Select Committee says that depressive illness has now become a very significant issue among UK children. The committee is particularly concerned about the looming mental health crisis in children and has admitted that every health professional they have spoken to has shown concerns and fears about the current mental health of our children.
The issue appears to be exacerbating steadily, unfortunately. In a Royal College of Nursing report where a survey was conducted involving a few British psychiatric centres – it was revealed that the number of adolescent patients rose by 50% between 1990 and 1995.
According to a recent Department of Health report, suicide and attempted suicide rates have been rising in young people.
Richard Williams, a health watchdog working for the NHS Health Advisory Service, with a keen interest in children’s mental health, reported to the committee that at this rate, 40% of children are likely to experience a mental health crisis at some point in their childhood.
A child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Royal Free Hospital in London said that he’s had to work hard to convince 7-year-olds that life is worth living. The British Society estimates that at least 10% of children suffer mental health problems serious enough to get immediate treatment. It also warns that in certain underdeveloped inner city regions, this could be as high as 25% in children and adolescents.
A senior lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London with a specialisation in child and adolescent psychiatry, says that a highly disruptive behavior in childhood is likely to have a very high continuity rate well into adulthood.
There’s a clear link between mental health problems in children and later adult mental health problems, not to mention the social implications.
If we don’t treat our children now, they will have a generally poor educational experience, followed by depression, anxiety, delinquency and perhaps even long-term unemployment.
Aiding Minds works with school Mental health leads to identify early signs of mental health issues in children and helps them put the appropriate interventions in place to get children back on track.