CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH WEEK: KIDS WANT HELP
ALMOST half of children aged from 12 to 16 in England feel sad or anxious at least once a week.
That’s one of the findings of a survey by Barnardo’s, which shows that worries about their future and school are children’s biggest concerns.
Nearly half of 12-year-olds in England (48%) said they felt down at least once a week. By the age of 16, seven in ten (70%) reported feeling sad or anxious at least once a week. Nearly a quarter (22%) said they have negative feelings as much as once a day.
The survey by YouGov for Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, was released for Children’s Mental Health Week. It goes on to reveal how young people can be better supported.
Three quarters of those asked said it would be helpful if they had a counsellor or another professional at their school to talk to when they’re feeling down and upset.
They said the main causes of stress were school for 65%, their future for 42%, problems at home for 31%, being
bullied for 25% (not including online) and their weight for 26%.
By the age of 16, stress at school was a worry for 83% of children in England and 80% were worrying about their future.
When asked who they would talk to if they felt sad or anxious, 38% said teachers, 71% said family members, 63% said friends.
Barnardo’s says schools have a key role to play, as they can be stressful places for children, especially around exam time. But they are also places where kids can seek help from teachers and counsellors. The charity wants more to be done to make it easier for children to talk about their mental health at school.
In support of Children’s Mental Health Week, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge, the Royal Patron of children’s mental health charity Place2Be, recorded a special video message. You can watch it at first.news/mentalhealthweek.
In her message, the Duchess spoke about the theme of this year’s campaign – ‘Being Ourselves’ – encouraging children and young people to feel comfortable with who they are and celebrate what makes them unique.
She said: “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives. It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves. Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.”