Mental health issues for young people in Leicester is on the rise

Mind charity
Charity shop MIND, Dursley

By Alexandra Smith

According to a recent article by the BBC, poor mental health amongst young people and children has been described as an epidemic and an ‘escalating crisis’.

The number of children nationally seeking help from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) in England, has more than doubled over the past two years.

In Leicester alone, the prevalence of mental health based upon the population of children and young people suggests that by 2035, 6,400 children in Leicester could be diagnosed with a mental illness.

The current estimate of this local diagnostic is 5,250.

After conducting an NHS survey of young people in England, researchers found the proportion of under 16s experiencing any mental health issues had risen from 11.4% to 13.6% between 1999 and 2017.

‘It’s not huge. It’s not the epidemic you see reported’, said Professor Tamsin Ford, a child psychiatrist and researcher who developed the survey.

She added that the result was ‘smaller than we thought’.

A volunteer from the charity, MIND, which offers advice and information to people who may be struggling with mentality said: “It is so important that people seek the help when they need, from who they need.

“A lot of people have an issue with speaking about the problem, it’s the initial mark of thinking ‘right I need to talk to someone instead of keeping it to myself like most.’”

Despite these figures, there has been almost a doubling in hospital admissions for self-harm among girls since 1997 (but no corresponding rise among boys).

However, previously people would have been treated without the self-inflicted nature being brought up, Professor Ford said, whereas now a better understanding by professionals has led to more cases being picked up and recorded as self-harm.

It is important that this small but genuine rise in diagnosable emotional disorders like depression and anxiety is recognised.

Help and advice can be found at the following websites:

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