We Spoke To Adults With Mental Health Issues About How Early Intervention Could Have Changed Their Lives
Almost a third of British parents feel they could look like a bad mother or father if their child has a mental health problem, according to exclusive research for The Huffington Post UK. Nearly one in three (32%) of parents said they would worry that a child with a mental health issue would reflect badly on them, according to the poll, published as part of our Young Minds Matter series, guest edited by The Duchess of Cambridge.
Children have to wait an average of 10 years to get help after they first suffer mental health problems, according to research by a leading independent charity. And the delay in treating them ends up costing society more than £105billion a year, the Centre for Mental Health has found. The research found that ignorance of mental health issues and the lack of support for children and parents are the main causes of the decade of delay.
For an adult suffering with a mental health problem, talking about how they’re feeling can be difficult. So, for a child with limited language skills, opening up about their feelings can be almost impossible. That’s where art therapy comes in. It uses activities, such as painting, to help children understand and discuss thoughts they may find distressing.
As I grew up, there were many more instances where I was bullied. For being fat, for wearing glasses, for being a swot, for being a horse-crazy child who rode riding school ponies at Pony Club when all the posh, rich girls had their own. I wish there'd been somewhere to turn, an easy way at school to talk to my teachers. Apart from the love of my family and friends, there didn't seem to be any help available, let alone a professional ear to talk to. And that can't be healthy.
It is such a privilege to have this opportunity to be Guest Editor of the Huffington Post today, and to celebrate the amazing work being done to improve and understand the mental health of young children. Young Minds Matter, being launched today, is a new series where issues and work around the mental health of young children will be explored. Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it. We hope to encourage George and Charlotte to speak about their feelings, and to give them the tools and sensitivity to be supportive peers to their friends as they get older. We know there is no shame in a young child struggling with their emotions or suffering from a mental illness.