The Importance of Investing in Children and Young People's Mental Health
As Children's Mental Health Week comes to an end, we hope you have enjoyed our ‘Take 5’ health and wellbeing tips for young people. We finish this week with a sobering reminder of why it is so important that we invest in the mental health of children and young people.
In the first three months of 2019 alone, 69 people took their own lives in Northern Ireland. 23 of those people were aged between 15 and 34. That’s just three months. It is estimated that 45,000 young people in NI have a mental health need at any one time and more than 20% of young people are suffering “significant mental health problems” by the time they reach 18.
AWARE believes that investing in the mental health of our children and young people is the only way to try and change these statistics. We are delighted to be continuing our engagement with teachers and schools across Northern Ireland in the coming year. As well as delivering our ‘Paws B’ mindfulness programmes in primary schools across the country, we will be rolling out lots of our ‘Mental Health First Aid’ courses as well. These courses will be funded by the Tesco Centenary Fund and will be delivered to teachers in post-primary schools in May and June 2020.
‘Mental Health First Aid’ will provide teachers with transferable skills which they can use to help someone who is experiencing mental ill-health. It will provide them with the knowledge of how to respond to a situation in which someone finds themselves in crisis in their family, school or community setting. Our aim is to invite 160 teachers from 160 schools across NI to benefit from Mental Health First Aid. We hope to equip and support teachers on the front line with the skills they need, to deal with young people’s mental health issues.
By March 2020, we will have delivered nearly 300 of our ‘Mood Matters for Young People’ workshops. These workshops are aimed at 14-18 year olds and give them knowledge and skills which they can use to maintain good mental health and build resilience in order to better deal with problems and challenges. The evidence-based programme uses CBT techniques, group activities and discussions to help young people make a positive difference in their lives.
Let’s invest in the mental health of our children and young people. Let’s change the statistics.
If you know someone who is struggling and needs help, support is available. There are lots of places you can go to for help. They are listed here:
Telephone: 0800 1111 Website: www.childline.org.uk
Childline is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a Childline counsellor for free about anything - no problem is too big or too small.
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call) Website: https://www.samaritans.org
Provides confidential, non-judgemental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide. You can phone, email, write a letter or in most cases talk to someone face to face.
Telephone: 0808 808 8000
Crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is there to help.
If you would like to find out more about any of our programmes for young people or if you would like to fundraise for AWARE, please follow the links below.AWARE | Children | Childrens Mental Health Week | Fundraising | Mental Health | Northern Ireland | Young People