In the UK, 55% of children and young people have faced barriers accessing mental health support, according to new data from mental health charity Place2Be.
And at nearly 60%, schoolwork and exams are the main worry for children and young people, found their YouGov survey of 1045 eight to 16-year-olds.
This Children’s Mental Health Week, Place2Be want to raise awareness of the barriers preventing a child from asking for help and encourage people to really listen to them.
More than half of the young people in the survey said certain factors would stop them seeking help. These included:
· Feeling uncomfortable speaking to a stranger (29%)
· Wanting to keep their problems a secret (19%)
· Scared of reactions from friends (20%)
· Scared of the response from their family (16%)
Other top worries included physical appearance (45%) and climate change (42%). Another 40% said they were worried their family did not have enough money.
‘Latest NHS statistics show that one in five children has a probable mental health disorder,’ says Children’s Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza. ‘Children often tell me issues with their mental health act as a significant barrier to their overall success, so we all have a role to play in supporting and helping to improve children’s mental health.’
CEO of Place2Be Catherine Roche said it is ‘powerful’ to hear young people talk about their mental wellbeing:
‘Thousands of children are struggling with their mental health, so this Children’s Mental Health Week we call on everyone to listen to what they’re saying, and act on it. Having a space where they can talk in confidence with a trusted, trained mental health professional helps them to feel connected and more likely to stay in education.’
Place2Be has provided various resources for schools in order to open discussion around mental health. Friday 9 February will be Express Yourself non-uniform day where children will be raising money for the charity.
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