According to a report by NHS Digital published in November 2018, mental health illnesses affect one in four older teenage girls aged 17 to 19, and one in eight people between the ages of five and 19 had a mental health disorder last year. Even more worrying, a quarter of 11 to 16-year olds with mental health problems had self-harmed or attempted suicide, increasing to 46% of those aged 17 to 19 years. Sadly, the report also found that 5% of children aged two to four years had a mental disorder, so it is not just teen mental health that is causing problems.
Young People and Mental Health Disorders
YMCA England and Wales called for action and additional resources earmarked to prevent this mental health crisis. They added that, as NHS mental health services are struggling to cope, young people are invariably left to deal with these issues alone. These are worrying findings.
The disorders were grouped into the following categories:
- Less common disorders
These disorders included issues such as body dysmorphia, anxiety disorder, depression and stress disorders. It is vital that medical experts try to get to the root causes of the various problems. We cannot tackle this mental health epidemic without understanding why young people are suffering in this way.
An in-depth study into the causes of mental health disorders in young people is urgently required, as well as additional government resources. A first step would be to provide NHS-funded counsellors in every school as well as additional training for teachers to help them spot and deal with young people who are suffering from a variety of mental health conditions. Mindfulness techniques can also help relieve stress by encouraging young people who are experiencing anxiety to remain calm throughout the school day.
On 23rd November All Resources visited Boots in central London and came across a promotion by stem4 to raise awareness of teenage mental health. The aim of the project was to encourage mental wellbeing by providing resources and signposting organisations that provide support for those suffering from mental health issues. This stem4 campaign is exactly the approach that is needed on a nationwide scale and other companies should support these projects.