Thursday, November 21, 2013

STRESS among children and Young People.

Almost half of children have been so stressed that they can't sleep.

A new survey has revealed that 45 per cent of children aged 10-14 have reported being unable to sleep because of stress or worry, with fifty nine per cent saying they feel worried or sad at least once a week.
The findings come as the Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery Good Causes money, launches its£75m HeadStart programme aimed at helping children in this key age group to cope with the pressures of modern life.
The Fund has worked closely with its own panel of young people to identify how their age group would like good causes money from the National Lottery to help them. Having carried out their own research and discovered mental health was one of the top concerns of their peers they helped to develop HeadStart, which has received the support of Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally DaviesGoes to different websiteOpens in new window.
Today’s survey revealed the top concerns to be exams and tests (57 per cent) and family problems such as parents losing their job, splitting up or arguing (31 per cent). The YouGov survey of over 700 children aged 10-14 has also discovered that:
• More than one-in-five (21 per cent) have avoided socialising with friends because they were stressed or worried.
• 75 per cent of children aged 10-14 think that a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
• A quarter are already worrying about choosing a future career.
Only around 25 per cent of young people needing treatment for mental health problems actually receive it and usually only once they reach 18[1], meaning younger children are missing out on vital support. HeadStart targets the key 10-14 age in a child’s life and will help improve young people’s resilience by giving them the support and skills to cope with adversity.
Working with specially-tasked partnerships in 12 areas, HeadStart will focus primarily on schools through special resilience lessons, helping pupils feel they have support at school as well as at home and tackling the stigma that can often surround the issues of mental health.
Harriet Filmer, 18, knows all about the pressures facing young people. Having been bullied herself and also helping to care for a younger brother with autism, she had plenty of issues to cope with. But she decided to do something positive about it and became involved with a peer mentoring project in her Ashford school, helping other young people to talk through their problems through one-to-one sessions and workshops. The issues were varied, from worries over wearing the right clothes to the day Harriet found herself talking a younger girl round from thoughts of suicide, and helping her fully realize it was time to accept the help that she so needed.
Harriet said: “I don’t think there is anything like the emotional help that is needed for young people who may be suffering without showing the signs. There’s this idea that mental health problems means crazy people in straight-jackets locked up in a cell but it’s nothing like that. More often than not it’s an every-day issue that just snowballs out of control.
“I got involved with school counselling because I wanted to help as many people as possible feel less isolated and alone in all that they are going through and I hope HeadStart will help young people realise that there are people out there who will give them the time and support they need, whatever the problem. If it’s worrying them, it’s something that needs to be sorted out.”
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally DaviesGoes to different websiteOpens in new window, said: “We already know that most lifelong mental health problems start to develop by the time a child reaches the age of 14 so it is vital that they are identified and get the support and treatment they need as early as possible.
“The HeadStart programme promises to be a fantastic way of reaching and helping children at risk of developing long term mental health issues and helping more children to grow up happy and healthy.”