How to Overcome the Inadequate Young Adult Mental Health Support
As a society becoming more open to discussion on tough and concerning topics, mental health has been on the table for conversation a lot more recently. There are several charities and research facilities dedicated to finding out more about the ins and outs of mental health and how we can facilitate the support of those suffering from mental health illnesses.
However, we need to be aware that mental health problems don’t only affect those over the age of eighteen; thousands of young people are affected by depression, anxiety and other mental health issues everyday. Although we like to think the most vulnerable in our society are being supported, they aren’t. Instead, they are being ignored or left on long waiting lists with no light at the end of the tunnel in sight.
Read on to learn more about the issues surrounding mental health support for young people and why we need to recognise this as a serious concern. Rather than let this problem affect your child, take control of the situation and read on for tips on how you can facilitate the support and improvement of your kid’s mental health.
There is an issue in our current society where young people aren’t being provided with the mental health support that they need and deserve. There’s no hard, outlined reason for this other than opinion, but the gap in mental health providers for this demographic is clear. Mental health charity YoungMinds have found in their recent research that one in eight people are having to manage their mental health on their own after seeking help and receiving none.
We aren’t shy of stories in today’s society of kids who are stuck on mental health support waiting lists or ignored, committing suicide or falling deeper into their mental health worries as a result. And as adults, we have to take responsibility for helping them find the support that they need as soon as possible to avoid these tragedies.
Why Is There No Support?
So, why is there inadequate support for young people who are suffering with mental health issues? It can be upsetting when our kids reach out for help and are met with silence or ignorance. It can take a lot for a person to seek support, as some people might be ashamed or afraid of talking about their mental health issues. But, instead of being provided with advice and help, children are being sidelined by those who are meant to care for them. While we might not have the answer in flashing bright lights, we can infer a reason as to why children aren’t being treated the same as adults when their mental health is concerned.
Often, when we think about mental health issues, we picture adults suffering from depression or anxiety as a result of money problems, relationship issues or work-related concerns. We don’t picture children facing these hard-hitting mental health problems, as often people view children through rose-tinted glasses. But, in reality, they can be going through a tough time; the truth is that mental health problems can affect anyone of any age, and we shouldn’t be excluding young people from this fact. 78% of those who took part in the YoungMinds research project said that they had to cope without any help after being unable to find support, with only 17% feeling confident in their ability to manage their mental health struggles on their own.
Seek Private Therapy
With such uncertainty surrounding government intervention for young people’s mental health, we have to take our children’s mental health into our own hands. Rather than letting your child suffer on a long waiting list, get them the help that they need now. Immediate action should always be the way forward; private therapy means that they can be seen straight away by someone who is qualified to help them in any scenario.
Where their mental health could be deteriorating over months waiting on an NHS list, in private therapy, the mission is to make progress from the start. Therapy can help them get a grasp on their thoughts and feelings in a time where they are perplexed; they may be going through puberty, changing schools or experiencing emotions that they aren’t used to. Therapy can give them an opportunity to understand their mental health, and what can be done to improve it. By addressing the issue as quickly as possible, we can prevent the mental health issue from having a long-lasting impact on our kids and pave the way to a better, more positive future.
Think About Your Role as Parents
We also need to think about our roles as parents and how we can facilitate and support our child’s journey to recovery. We often hear it being called a ‘journey to recovery’ and while you might think this is a cliche, overused idiom, it is not. Therapy won’t be a quick-fix to make your child feel better, nor will mental health problems go away on their own.
As a parent, you need to be dedicated to supporting this journey that your kid will go through by finding them the right therapist to support them. Many therapists offer a free consultation to understand what their client needs help with, and speaking to them during this consultation can help you determine if they are the right person for your child.
Beyond therapy, you need to always help and support your child. Academic pressure is the top facilitator of mental health issues. If you think you are pressuring your kid to achieve higher grades or you can see how the school is making them feel worried about their exams then you need to address this. Sit your child down and reassure them.
Highlight the Issues with Social Media
Social media can have a significant influence on a young person’s mental health, too. Rather than spending hours outdoors as children used to, our kids are more fascinated with technology and apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. While there is nothing wrong with technology to an extent, we can’t let these social media platforms take their toll. Take the time to talk to your kids about how social media can influence them.
Maybe limit social media usage and create blocks on specific accounts that you think could damage your kid’s mental health at a young age. You want them to be aware that not everything they see online is real, and that they don’t have to aspire to look or act like those they follow or see on Facebook and Instagram.
In the end, it’s down to the adults to ensure that our children are happy and healthy. And if they need support because they are struggling with their mental health, it’s time to act now.