Information on mental health in young people.
invites emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing and affects an individual thoughts, feelings, and actions, it determines how they manage stress, relate to others, and make choices and is important to every stage of life.
Mental Ill health
Refers to a wide range of mental health conditions or disorders that affect mood, thinking, and behaviours. Mental Ill health includes depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviours.
Refers to an individual’s capability to manage situations they perceive as stressful, such as issues at work, physical illness, or bereavements. Resilience means that individuals with these conditions are enabled to manage them more efficiently.
This is how people perceive themselves based on their own opinions and believes. Self-esteem can affect whether someone likes and values themselves as a person and is able to make decisions or assert their ideas or presence.
Well-being does not just refer to physical health, but to any aspects of an individual life that makes them feel content
Good mental health
Or being mentally healthy, is more than just the absence of illness, it is a state of overall wellbeing, and relates to enjoying life, coping with stress and sadness, being able to set and fulfil goals and having the ability to build and maintain relationships with others. Good mental health should be looked at as a way of allowing people to realise their full potential
Mental health and mental well-being
Mental health’ is different from ‘mental wellbeing.’ While being linked, briefly ‘mental wellbeing’ is all about your own thoughts and feelings and how you are able to cope with the challenges of everyday life. Whereas ‘mental health’ is more about certain indications and symptoms that can affect you in the long-term and develop into mental health issues.
Every day we can all experience feelings of sadness, anger, or frustration at certain things that happen during the course of each day. But having good mental wellbeing means you can understand what those feelings are and why you are having them, so you can manage them accordingly. In general, good mental health means you feel:
– confident in yourself
– a sense of purpose in what you are doing
– able to cope with everyday challenges
– productive at home and work
– you can live life as you want
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), among other things, poor mental health can be down to “rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill-health, and human rights violations.”
Any ongoing issues in your life like these can mean a depleted and more fragile state of mental wellbeing, affecting how you feel, think, and act. Over time, the effect of these issues can mean your life becomes impaired, stopping you from doing certain things and affecting your ability to deal with information effectively or cope in certain situations. Mental
With our wellbeing affected by sudden or ongoing life events, especially those we have no control over, our ability to deal with them comes down to how we respond to them. Whatever the issue is, we can either internalise it and try to suppress the problem or open up and seek support to help us. But by supporting ourselves, we can often strengthen our mental wellbeing to help us in the long term.
What is the prevalence of mental health problems age groups?
Risk factors for mental health problems in children and young people are based on inequality which may pre social, economic, or environmental and this can make them vulnerable to developing mental health problems.
A recent study has shown when assessed over 15% of children and young people had one mental disorder and over 5% met the criteria for having two or more according to the NHS.
Around 50% of lifelong mental health problems have started before the age of fifteen teen.
Approximately 5% of pre-school children may have a mental disorder.
Ten percent of children aged 5-16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem. And 70% who experience mental health problems have not had the appropriate interventions at an early age.
Twenty percent of adolescents may experience a mental heavy problem in any given year
Fifty percent of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of twenty-four.
Ten percent of children and young people aged5-16 have a clinical diagnosable mental problem yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health conditions have not had the appropriate intervention at a sufficiently early age.
Most Common Mental Health Concerns in Children and How to Recognise Them:
Anxiety – The CDC reports that 9% of children aged 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with anxiety. Early signs of childhood anxiety can include panic attacks, quick breathing, obsessive thinking, and situational avoidance that may impact school attendance or social engagement.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – Nearly 10% of children have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the CDC’s look at 3 to 17-year-olds. From excessive talking and fidgeting to distractibility and inattention, ADHD can present itself in ways for children. Symptoms may disrupt a child’s enjoyment or prosperity in school. Since behaviours associated with ADHD can last into adulthood, it may also affect their work environment as they grow.
Behaviour problems – About 9% of 3 to 17-year-olds face significant-enough behavioural issues to earn a formal diagnosis. It is understood that these issues can be exacerbated by exposure to violence, crime, or neglect.
Depression – The CDC’s analysis of 3 to 17-year-olds revealed that 4% were diagnosed with depression. Similar to depression in adults, children experiencing depressive episodes may show a decreased interest in their favourite activities, changes in their sleep patterns, and increased irritability.
Other less common but still prevalent conditions include:
Learning disorders, such as dyslexia
Involuntary movements, or tics
Schizophrenia, or distorted thoughts and feelings
Though these indicators may tip you off to a deeper issue, it is essential to consult mental health professionals about any young girl with down syndrome wearing pink and playing in front of a mirror. concerning behaviours or patterns you observe in children. Every child is different, and their expression of distress may not be as obvious to spot.
Also, keep in mind that mental health conditions can appear in tandem, known as comorbidities. Anxiety and depression, for example, often occur together. Our list also does not even begin to speak to neurodevelopment conditions.
Take autism, for example, which also presents early on in life and can present challenging symptoms for children and their families. Reports show that there is an at least 37% comorbidity rate between autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) as well as an up to 84% comorbidity rate between autism and anxiety. Understanding how to parse which symptoms reveal deeper or additional challenges is thus crucial when we assess how to help our children thrive.
What is the prevalence of mental health problems of children and young people age groups?
A study from 1999 to 2017 showed that prevalence of all mental health disorders in the age bracket of children between 5-15 years of age rose by 1.5 % to 11.2%
Prevalence of behavioural disorders and hyperactivity disorders in children aged 5-15 have remained stable
For children aged 11-15 the prevalence of mental health disorder rose to 13.6% from 9.5%
Mental health disorders were more common, and rose more dramatically, in older children. Prevalence was 13.6% of children aged 11-15,
The main rise in prevalence in children aged 5-25 was with an emotional disorder including anxiety, OCD, depression. This is an increase from 4.3% to 5,8% in the period from 1999 to 2017. This rise showed that it affected more girls than boys.
In 2017 a study showed that 14.9% of people aged in their late teens 17-19 had emotional disorders
This rose to 22.4% of women in the same age group.
Behavioural disorders prevalence fell only by 0.7 percentage points between 2004
and 2017, and in fact has been unchanged since 1999.
Behavioural disorders are more common in boys than girls, 7.1% compared to 3.9% in 2017.
The prevalence of hyperactivity disorder has been stable from the 1999 study to 2017.
Hyperactivity disorders prevalence has remained stable from 1999 to 2017 and are more common in boys.
Two key legislations
There are two specific pieces of legislation that relate to how people with mental health conditions receive care and treatment. They are the Mental Health Act (1983) updated in 2007 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
The Mental Health Act
The Mental Health Act sets out when an individual can be admitted, treated, and detained in hospital against their wishes and the code of practise for this is clear that this will only be done, if an individual is at risk of harming themselves or others.
Being sectioned is the term often used for being held under this Act and for this to happen three people must agree. This should be an approved professional, a nearest relative, a doctor with specialist training such as a psychiatrist or a GP. An interview will take place with the individual to see how they are feeling at the time
The Mental Capacity Act
Following the Mental Capacity Act code of practise, anything done on behalf of the individual must be conducted with their best interests at heart.
The Mental Capacity Act has been put into place to help empower and protect the people who may find it difficult to make and understand all their decisions for themselves and to plan ahead for the future.
Human Rights Act
All services that provide mental health support to children and young people have a legal duty under the Human Rights Act 1998 to respect, protect and fulfil their human rights.
This means that those working with a child or young person in a mental health setting have to take reasonable steps to protect them where they are known to be at immediate risk, for example taking their own life.
Parental Responsibility has been defined in the Children Act of 2004 and attempts to focus on the parent’s duties towards their child rather than the parent’s rights over their child.
When certain decisions have to be taken about a child, all those with ‘parental responsibility,’ are allowed to have a say. This should be about the upbringing of the child but day to day decisions should be taken by the parent or carer who looks after and lives with the child.
The Data Protection Act (DPA) was originally passed in 1988. It was developed to control how personal information is used by organisations or government bodies. It protects how data about people can be used. The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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By Aaron Christopher Slade