'˜Young people need to learn to speak out about problems'
Mental health among the young is a growing problem, particularly because young people are not very good at opening up and talking about things they don't think are cool.
Experts want to see health and wellbeing on the timetable in schools so young people can be helped from an early age.
The Statutory PSHE Education: Meaningful Change report outlines how making PSHE statutory would have a meaningful impact on young people’s lives. A coalition of organisations including school leaders’ union the National Association of Head Teachers, the National Education Union, NSPCC, Sex Education Forum, and PSHE Association, have all backed the call for it to be made compulsory, echoed by parents and schools.
The family of a 16-year-old girl from Morecambe who committed suicide has organised a fundraising event to help young people face mental health conditions and seek help. Sian Waterhouse died in February after a long battle with anxiety and depression. Her family want to raise awareness and get people talking about mental health.
The event will also raise funds for leading mental health charity Lancashire Mind which works with young people across the county in schools and local communities.
Rachael Ray, children and young people’s community development lead, Lancashire Mind, said: “The government has released figures that show one in four people has a mental health condition at some point in their life and young people are affected disproportionately with over half of mental health problems starting by the age of 14 and 75 per cent by 18.
“It is vital that we work with young people across Lancashire today to make a difference to their lives now and in the future.”
School counsellor Charlotte Lowe (pictured inset)said: “Many young people experience mental health difficulties and just because someone looks okay, it doesn’t mean that they are.
“We never actually know how someone is feeling unless they tell us, which is why it’s so important for young people to talk about their mental health and reach out for help when they are struggling.
“It’s an extremely positive step that mental health is being discussed much more in the media. However, many young people still struggle to speak out about how they are feeling due to the stigma which surrounds mental health.
“It is important for young people to remember that it is okay to experience problems with their mental health and this is nothing to be ashamed of.”