This week marks Children’s Mental Health Week (7th – 13th February). It provides an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health problems and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.
The rise in mental health problems over recent years has previously been labelled as a mental health emergency and one of the greatest public health challenges of our times. In the UK alone one in four people experience problems with mental health and the social and economic costs of mental ill health amount to billions of pounds every year.
Mental health problems are even more worrying when they concern the mental fitness of our younger generations, and how we are preparing them to face the growing challenges of entering adulthood. Mental health services are inevitably facing overwhelming and unprecedented pressures, which existed even before the Covid-19 pandemic. This could potentially lead to a lost generation of vulnerable children and young people who are missing out on the support they vitally need.
This year’s theme for Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Growing Together’, encouraging children (and adults) to consider how they have grown and how they can help others to grow.
Against the perfect storm of a mental health crisis combined with a global pandemic, we must not lose sight of the challenges that our children and young people are facing and renew our efforts to ensure that adequate mental health support is provided for them.