The Gulf Today - Panorama - - PARENTING - By Liz Con­nor

Ama­jor NHS re­port has found that one in eight young peo­ple in Eng­land, aged be­tween 5 and 19, suf­fer with a men­tal health dis­or­der.

The sur­vey, which looked at data from more than 9,000 chil­dren liv­ing in Eng­land and regis­tered with a GP, found an in­crease in con­di­tions such as anx­i­ety, de­pres­sion and OCD in chil­dren over the past decade.

A wor­ry­ing one in 18 chil­dren aged 2 to 4 years now has at least one men­tal health con­di­tion, while 17 to 19-year-old girls have been iden­ti­fied as a ‘high risk’ group, with one in four suf­fer­ing with dis­or­der and 46.8 per cent of chil­dren in this age cat­e­gory at­tempt­ing self-harm or sui­cide.

The emo­tional well­be­ing of chil­dren is just as im­por­tant as their phys­i­cal health, and while hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with your child about men­tal is­sues can be chal­leng­ing, it can be the im­por­tant first step in help­ing them to find the sup­port they need.

Sarah Ken­drick, head of ser­vice from chil­dren’s men­tal health char­ity Place2be, re­veals the dos and don’ts for talk­ing to a young peo­ple you think may be strug­gling to cope. too late to start think­ing about your child’s men­tal health — but do make sure you choose your lan­guage care­fully, says Ken­drick. “From a young age, chil­dren can start to un­der­stand dif­fi­cult feel­ings and wor­ries. Re­fer­ring to char­ac­ters in story books or on TV can be a help­ful way to get them think­ing about dif­fer­ent emo­tions and how to cope with them.”

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