70 per cent of young mental illness patients won’t receive necessary care …


Data from GP practices between 2001 to 2004 shows there was a 68 per cent increase in self-harm for 13 to 16-years-olds, and those that self-harmed were more likely to commit suicide.

Health services are not readily available to help young people receive the support they need from practitioners and local services. For example, the Mental Health Foundation has estimated that 1/10 children and young people will suffer from a mental illness in their lives, but, 70 per cent of them will not have received adequate care in the early stages.

Nevertheless, there has been an increase in awareness of mental health issues because sports stars, movie stars and politicians are increasingly opening up about their own battles with mental illness. This includes pop stars such as Selena Gomez and cricketer, Jonathan Trott; their careers may vary but their sense of suffering remains the same. It does not matter if someone is rich or poor, black or white, mental illness can affect anyone at any point in their lives. The NHS has found that young women (16 to 24-years-olds) have the highest risk of suffering from mental illness; with the proportion of young women who self-harm having increased significantly since 2007.

Most importantly, mental illness is rarely caused by a single issue but a variety of problems ranging from an unhappy family life to a school that cannot provide good quality education and care for the wellbeing of students. Children generally desire a sense of belonging whether through family, school, or the community.

The government can support young people by providing good quality schools, but this cannot replace a happier family life or a sense of community. Unfortunately, the poorest households are more likely to suffer these difficulties.

Charities provide a lifeline for these people to discuss their worries and socialize with others. The sense of community they feel undoubtedly helps tackle some of the problems they face from mental illness.

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