Concerns over young people’s mental health continue to grow in the UK

Head teachers have expressed concern at the growing rate of mental health issues and say the care outside of schools is not keeping pace. Over half of heads surveyed have reported a large rise in pupils with anxiety and stress. anxious-teen

The survey, launched at the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ASCL) annual conference in Birmingham, found that over the past five years that 79% of heads saw an increase in self harm or suicidal thoughts among students. Beyond that, 40% reported a big rise in cyber-bullying and 53% of those who had referred a pupil to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) rated them ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

The BBC further reported that close to 65% said they struggled to get mental health services for pupils.

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB), which assisted in the survey, said most schools offer on-site support to students – for example, counselling and educational psychology sessions.

NCB chief executive Anna Feuchtwang said the survey results were ‘alarming’.

“For these young people, and many others like them, their psychological states are almost too distressing to bear. This research confirms that better provision of child mental health services, both in and outside school, is still sorely needed,” she added.

Just last month, the UK’s Mental Health Foundation said mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people, adding that 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

Clinical hypnotherapists know, as do most health practitioners, that the mental health of young people is just as important as the physical health and good mental health allows them to develop the resilience to cope with life’s pressures as they grow up and become adults.

But, given the ‘gap’ in mental health care for young people, hypnotherapy can play a major role in alleviating this and this is where members of the national Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) can assist.

With more than 1800 highly-qualified and trained therapists across the UK, the NCH holds one of the largest registers of independent hypnotherapists and strives to maintain the highest standards among its members.

Dealing with stress and anxiety across all ages is a common occurrence for hypnotherapists and there are some who specialise in dealing with young people.

The NHS says cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a talking therapy used by many hypnotherapists, can help children or young people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.

“It has been proven to help with anxiety that isn’t severe, and is commonly offered to young people who are anxious,” said the NHS.

A young person seeing a therapist for anxiety or stress will usually have several sessions where, after establishing the root cause of the problem, the two will work together to find ways to change the way they think and find strategies for coping in situations that make them anxious.

After sessions with a therapist, the person may feel more confident and more relaxed in situations that have previously been challenging. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.

The NHS says nearly 300,000 young people in Britain have an anxiety disorder and, in the UK, anxiety disorders are estimated to affect 5-19% of all children and adolescents, and about 2-5% of children younger than 12.

If you think your child or a young person you know is suffering from undue stressor anxiety, contact an NCH therapist near you by clicking here. It can make the world of difference and the world a better place for that person.