The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield has revealed that children who are suffering from depression, self-harm and other mental health problems are turning to the Internet for answers instead of going to their GP.
Young people don’t believe that their GP can do anything to help them and are therefore logging onto their computers in search of advice or talking to friends their own age about their worries instead.
Not only is it concerning that youngsters aren’t getting the professional help they need, but it’s also luck of the draw whether or not they stumble upon a website that can provide them with proper advice.
Ms Longfield said that the situation has become desperate and is also concerned about the fact that increasing levels of mental illness amongst children is seen as normal. A survey of more than 1,000 headteachers found that mental health problems are becoming a growing problem in schools with 67% saying that they are worried about the mental health of their pupils.
The government has said however that children’s mental health is a priority with a spokesperson commenting:
“We’re investing £1.25bn in young people’s mental health over the next five years. Many of the recommendations in this report have already been undertaken. For example. we’re promoting greater use of counselling in schools and have funded guidance on teaching about mental health. We’re also supporting better links between mental health services and schools, ensuring children can thrive both inside and out the classroom.”
If you think that your child could be suffering with mental health issues, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programme page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.