One in Five School Children Show Signs of Depression

Signs of DepressionMental health campaigners are calling for young people to receive mental health training as a part of their schooling to control the rise in childhood depression.

A recent study by the mental health charity MindFull found that one in five children showed some signs of depression. This includes feeling very sad helpless or anxious.

The study questioned 2,000 people between 16 and 25 about their mental health when they were children. 32% said they had at least thought about suicide or had actually made an attempt.

Other disturbing trends include three out of every ten children admitting to intentionally harming themselves at some point in before the age of 16.

According to the survey, the reasons behind this high rate of depression stem from school related stress, worry about the future and fears that they are not good enough.  These symptoms affected the children’s ability to study, work and made it harder to concentrate. These feelings even made it hard for some young people to go out.

The other real world effect of these feelings was skipping school. 61% of those surveyed said that the depressed feelings meant they skipped out on school or college because of how they felt.

This study has people like labour leader Ed Miliband and psychologist Tanya Byron worried that children are not supported enough.  This is backed up by the survey which shows 52% of those how did suffer from mental illness felt let down by the support available. Furthermore, 47% of those who had symptoms of depression said they had spoken to someone about it but never received the help they were looking for.

Of those surveyed, two thirds of young adults agreed that mental health courses in school would help solve the mental health issue.

Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive and founder of MindFull, said: "Too many children who try to speak out about the way they're feeling are being let down or simply ignored. It's unacceptable that so many are having to resort to harming themselves on purpose in order to cope, or worse still are thinking about ending their own lives. Early intervention is proven to help prevent adult mental health problems, so swift action must be taken now if we are to avoid a legacy of serious long-term mental illness."

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