Solicitors in Milton Keynes - Family Law, Motoring Law, Domestic Violence

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A quick survey of mental health statistics, as they relate to children, makes grim reading. 10% of school children suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder and up to 7.5% of school children deliberately self-harm. Over the last 10 years the number of children admitted to hospital because of self-harm has increased by nearly 70%. Furthermore, more than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood and not given the proper treatment. However perhaps the most shocking figure to contemplate is that nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression and over 8,000 children aged under 10 years old suffer from severe depression. The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s. For many of them the idea of a “happy childhood” is one that they may never actually experience. Many end up in prison, prostitution, mental health institutions or struggling trapped in alcohol and drug abuse, misunderstood and ignored. They are the forgotten children.

It is perhaps easy to blame parenting as the main contributory factor but it should be remembered that mental health is the same as physical health – there doesn’t always need to be a human agent leading to cause and effect. Social and peer pressures obviously play a part, especially in relation to body image (anorexia and bulimia) or anxiety and panic attacks about “fitting in” or not being “cool”. Often children who have been abused can end up suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia or psychosis from illegal drug abuse are other mental health issues that are commonly associated with children.

Mental health services for children and young people are improving but there is still a lot to be done.


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NHS Discounts Milton Keynes

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