Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Half of all mental health problems have been established by the age of 14, rising to 75 per cent by age 24. One in ten children aged 5–16 has a diagnosable problem.

On Tuesday 12th December Open forum Events held their Children and Young People’s Mental Health Conference. The day was good, there were 10 speakers who spoke about topics ranging from mental health in education, to parenting and the recently released green paper on young people’s mental health.

Young people spend, roughly, 40% of their waking time at school.

That was one of the biggest messages that stood out to me from the talk by Headteacher Andy Howard from the Crossley Manor School which educates young people with social, emotional and/or mental health needs. School is vitally import to a young person it can either be a place of safety and stability or their worst nightmare.

Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper

During the day, there was a lot of talk about the green paper and the provisions that were going to be put in place hopefully as a result of this. The main points of the green paper are designated mental health leads in schools, mental health support teams in the local area supervised by CAMHS staff which deal with schools in a locality and the target waiting time of 4 weeks to access specialist services.

There are concerns about this not going far enough especially from myself and a few of the speakers. Concerns were raised about the mental health teams not being in schools but around them as the current plan. I was concerned about the teachers having training to provide support in the here and now for anxiety and panic attacks. Concerns were also raised about having these problems dealt with before they entered the higher education system by one of the speakers and the hope that this means problems that occur during primary and secondary educations will be addressed.

This was a very good day providing lots of information on the future of mental health in schools and the attendees like myself got a lot from the speakers. These attendees also got information about No Panic and how we can help. If you’d like to know more about how we can help schools and young people’s organisations please contact us.

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