Thursday, 27 March 2014

Better education and awareness in children's mental health

I have recently published two blogs regarding children’s mental health.  The first was about the lack of help for children with mental health problems and the second on tips for parents.  Recently the news reported on the issue that many adults do not know what the signs of a mental illness are in children, with them being failed by their schools and other professionals.

It is estimated that 850,000 children have a diagnosed mental health problem.  Diagnosed.  This number could be far higher if every child with a mental health problem was diagnosed.  But with a third of adults not aware of the symptoms of depression, such as waking up early and boredom, children are not receiving the help they so desperately need.

There are news reports of children being locked up in police cells for their own safety, mental health meetings being held in cafés (although this is a separate debate all together) and children receiving little to no support from an underfunded and under-resourced services. To help adults spot the signs of a mental illness in a child, thus leading on to them receiving help as soon as possible, a website has been launched called MindEd.

MindEd is a website designed to raise awareness and to educate adults who work with children and families about children’s mental health.  It helps adults to spot the signs of an illness and how and where to receive help for that child.  It is packed with resources that are easy to understand and can be viewed on laptops, computers, tablets and phones.  This education could create the domino effect and raise better awareness, treatment and support for children with a mental illness and their families.

With this and talks of introducing a professional to work in schools to spot the signs of mental illness and to support them and their families children will begin to receive the help they deserve, which could reduce the number of those with a mental illness in adulthood.

Spotting the signs of a mental illness in a child could save them from developing a mental illness in adulthood if it is treated as soon as possible.  If you are unsure whether a child’s symptoms are that of a mental illness it is better to refer them to help to be on the safe side.  You could be saving a child from developing a disability.

Child mental health issues ‘missed’:
Mental health help ‘needed in schools’:

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