Mummy says… Mental Health is always difficult to talk about, and it is great that awareness is being raised by such things as #WorldMentalHealthDay today, 10 October…
Mental Health affects so many people – an our young people are particularly susceptible. I have three older children – girls aged 22 and 18 and a son aged 16 (as well as my Ickle Pickle).
There are several pieces of recent research showing that student reports of mental health issues has gone up fivefold in the last ten years, and over a similar period of time, suicide has increased by 79% amongst students. Isn’t that just shocking?
All my older children have suffered with Mental Health issues including depression, anxiety, social anxiety and my 18 year old, Lea suffers from a condition triggered by severe anxiety called Globus Pharyngeus which affects her throat.
Lea has just started Uni and we are amazed and so pleased at the level of support for Mental Health problems for the students.
As well as counsellors, helplines and support groups within the Uni itself, there are several great resources that most students can access including:
Nightline – a confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, non-directive and non-advisory support service run by students for students.
Big White Wall – an online support service which is free to some NHS areas and Universities.
For my son, the first port of call for me was the school nurse and his Head of Year. Luckily, both were incredibly supportive and helped by removing pressure of his attendance – something he struggled with when he was suffering. They contacted our LEA who were equally as supportive. They had several resources in place to help.
My second contact was the GP – again, she was wonderful. She referred them to our local CAHMS who assessed, then supported them with counselling. There was a waiting list of several months, which is down to lack of funding and counsellors.
I hope by sharing our journey on #World MentalHealthDay it will help any other teens who may be suffering.