Mental Health News Round Up September

Funding falls for young people’s mental health

New research finds that nearly half of local NHS bodies cut their spending on children’s mental health last year. The data also revealed that spending had not increased in line with total budgets in half of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), and in some cases spending fell.

Tom Madders, Director of Communications and Campaigns at YoungMinds says:

After years of underfunding, the government’s recent investment in children’s mental health services should be reaching the front line so it’s alarming that so many CCGs have made real-term cuts in the last year.

He said it could be “desperately hard” for children and families to get support in some areas, often waiting months for treatment or turned away because their problems were not considered serious enough.

He added: “Jeremy Hunt has described child and adolescent mental health services as the single weakest area of NHS provision, so it is vital that the government ensures that the money they have committed is spent where it was intended.”

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Read more about the research that reveals CAMHS funding is being spent on different services. 

1 in 4 girls are depressed, by their own accounts

A new study by the UCL Institute of Education shows that after being asked to report on their mental health, a quarter of girls and 1 in 10 boys are depressed at age 14. The research, published with the National Children’s Bureau, also shows that emotional problems are more prevalent in girls by the time children reach adolescence.

March Bush, Chief Policy Adviser at YoungMinds, says:

We know that teenage girls face a huge range of pressures, including stress at school, body image issues, bullying, and the pressure created by social media. Difficult experiences in childhood – including bereavement, domestic violence or neglect – can also have a serious impact, often several years down the line.

“To make matters worse, it can be extremely difficult for teenagers to get the right support if they’re struggling to cope. That’s why it’s crucial that mental health services are properly funded, with a focus on early intervention. As a society, we also need to do far more to prevent mental health problems from developing in the first place. To start with, we need to rebalance our education system, so that schools are able to prioritise wellbeing and not just exam results."

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Find out more about our major campaign, Wise Up, calling on the government to rebalance the education system

How to spot depression in children: signs and symptoms to look for

Following the research that a quarter of girls and 1 in 10 boys are depressed at age 14,  Emma Saddleton, Parents Helpline Operations Manager at YoungMinds, advises parents on what signs to look out for to spot depression in their children.

While depression can show itself in many different ways, big changes in your child’s behaviour can be a warning sign.
Emma Saddleton, Parents Helpline Operations Manager at YoungMinds

“If they are not wanting to do things that they previously enjoyed, not wanting to meet friends, sleeping a lot more or less than normal, eating a lot more or less than normal, or seem constantly irritable or upset, it’s important to take it seriously.” 

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Social media companies must do more to tackle Cyberbullying

More than 8 in 10 young people think social media companies should do more to tackle cyberbullying, according to a survey released by YoungMinds and The Children’s Society. The results of the survey showed that of the 1000 young people aged 11-25 that took part, 46% said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages online.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive at YoungMinds says:

While bullying has always existed, the rise of social media means that it now often no longer ends at the school gates. Many of the young people we work with have talked about the pressure that round-the-clock online harassment puts on them, how trapped it makes them feel, and how it can seem like there’s no escape.

"That’s why we are delighted to be supporting the inquiry into the impact of online bullying on young people’s mental health. The inquiry, led by Alex Chalk MP, will hear from young people, experts and social media companies, and publish recommendations early next year.”

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Find out more about the Cyberbully Inquiry.

Stress and social media fuel mental health crisis among girls

New NHS data shows that there has been a 68% rise in girls under 17 being admitted to hospital because of self-harm, jumping from 10,500 to 17,500 admissions in the past decade.

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