1.1 Mental health problems do affect about one in ten children and young people. They do include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
The emotional well-being of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows them to develop the resilience to cope with what-ever life throws at them and grow into well rounded, healthy adults.
Things that can help children and young people mentally well include;
Being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise,
Having time and freedom to go out shopping with friends,
Being part of a family that gets along well most of the time,
Going to school that looks after the well-being do its pupils,
Taking part in community activities for young people,
Feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe,
Being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves,
Being hopeful and optimistic,
Being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed,
Accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at,
Having the strength to cope when something is wrong and the ability to solve problems,
The changes in life and the way we live now have a significant impact on the experience of growing up in children and young people.
1.2 Mental and emotions health is a resource which children and young people need for everyday life, and which enables us to manage our lives successfully. Therefore the natural capacity of people to make good decisions about what is or is not good for them can be compromised by either internal or external factors or both.
The factors that may make children and young people more vulnerable to poor mental health or emotional health may include;
Poor quality of relationships,
Feelings of isolation,
Experience of disharmony, conflict or alienation,
Physical illness, infirmity or disability,
Lack of self-esteem,
Poverty and unemployment, insecurity,
Social exclusion or discrimination,
Poor physical environment,
Negative peer pressures,
Experiences of abuse, sexual abuse and violence, domestic or bullying,
Family or community conflict or tensions,
These factors and others affect children and young peoples in different stages of their lives during childhood, young adulthood, even when they are older.
2.1 It is important that young people and or their parents feel that they or their child is suffering from mental illness, to talk to their GP or social worker, and any issues with medication and treatments they have to go to their GP or community mental health team. Young people must not come off any medication without consulting their GP/Medical professionals, it is vital that young people seek help immediately if they feel they are in danger of harming themselves and if the person they tell does not understand, to look for someone who will understand and get the help they need.
The support needed may be obtained from;
Support line- provide emotional support,
Anxiety UK- anxiety conditions and a battle against tranquillisers - children who take sleeping tablets,
Mental health foundation,
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
2.2 Getting as much support for children and young people, can help build confidence. Asking for help when they are in need of it - and recognising when they are not coping and need support is a sign of strength – not weakness.
Keeping a list of useful numbers and helplines so they have these at hand, should their feelings become overwhelming and they are unable to cope.
Dealing with one thing at a time and not overloading the head – this may help them by writing a list of all the necessities and work through them at their own pace.
Getting some fresh air and exercise each day and building it into a routine.
Socially interacting and getting along with people