Insufficient Mental Health Support for Youth
As parents, we want to protect our children, and ensure they are always healthy and happy. But, when we start to notice our kids are acting differently, seem sad all the time or anxious and scared to leave the house, we can worry beyond compare. As a society, we are talking more about mental health and encouraging everyone to seek support through the likes of therapy to help set their mental health back on track. But, while it should be easier than ever to access these support systems, there is, in fact, a ‘treatment’ gap for the younger generation.
Many of our youth trying to access mental health services in England are being rejected, leaving them feeling abandoned and unable to cope on their own. Rather than letting our children try to tackle their complex mental health issues alone, we should be finding them a place where they are provided with help.
Therapy is a safe and professional way for people of all ages to open up about their mental health and seek expert advice and guidance. Therapy isn’t limited to adults and can benefit children and young adults greatly by stamping out mental health issues before they become a greater concern as they age.
Keep reading to learn more about mental health problems young people can face, as well as the current lack of support provided by the government’s mental health services. I also explain the importance of therapy for having a significant impact on improving your child’s mental health, with long-lasting effects.
Mental Health Problems in Youth
There are many reasons why a child or young adult may generate mental health issues during their childhood. Trauma, abuse and bullying can result in depression and anxiety which follow them into their adulthood. Without addressing these issues early on, there is the risk it could lead to suicidal thoughts or actions.
Social media, photoshop culture and online pressure, can all also contribute to the development of mental health issues as children and young adults feel like they have to tick certain boxes and look a certain way. This can cause depression, self-confidence issues or lead people to lie about their own life. Over time, this can become a habit and a way of life.
Education and exams also place a tremendous amount of stress on a child, no matter their age. We feel like we have to achieve specific grades to be seen as successful and intelligent, and with upcoming exams, we can run ourselves into the ground. Parents need to keep an eye on their children around these times and reassure them that they are proud no matter what. If children feel too much pressure like this all the time, they could develop anxiety to always overachieve in the future, including their work and social lives.
The Treatment Gap
It has been reported in a Think Tank study that more than a quarter of young people referred to specialist mental health services are being rejected in England. To bring this statistic even more to life, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) says that 133,000 young people were turned away in 2019, even those who have suffered abuse or self-harm. The report also highlights a waiting time of two months and claims that the system is struggling to cope with demand. These facts are shocking and quite alarming for parents who only want their children to get the best mental health support possible. As a parent watching their child suffer, you have to question whether you can wait that long for the help they need.
Concerns are being raised around the lack of consistency and transparency about the support available for children and young people with severe mental health problems. Parents feel their children are being ‘deprived of access’ to services they believe will benefit their children greatly, and have a positive impact on their development. David Laws, former education minister, said that the progress of mental health services has been “hugely disappointing…[as] young people continue to be deprived of access to specialist mental health treatment, despite the government claiming significant investment in mental health services over the past five years.”
How Therapy Can Help
Rather than struggling through these long waiting times or face rejection with anger and upset, seek support for your child now. With my therapy services, you don’t have to wait for me to find space, nor do you face the risk of being told your child’s mental health needs don’t meet specific criteria.
Therapy will help your child understand why they think or feel a certain way, allowing them to have a clearer picture of their mental health. This understanding then makes it easier for them to adopt tactics and tricks provided by me to overcome and suppress symptoms of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Over time, therapy helps them understand their self-worth and what emotions and thoughts are coming from ‘them’ and what is created by mental illness.
Check out my website today to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your teenager’s mental health journey. Whether the issues stem from home, the online world or even school, I can help your child understand their mental health more, so that they can take back control of their thoughts and emotions and banish problems like depression and anxiety for good.