Letter to the media - Mental health awareness goes beyond addressing illness

Published on May 8, 2017

Dear Editor,

This week marks Mental Health Awareness Week (8th to 14th May). Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, the theme this year is ‘Surviving or Thriving’. Rather than asking why so many people are living with mental health problems, this week seeks to uncover why too few of us are thriving with good mental health.

It is crucial to remember that three children in every classroom will experience mental health problems by the time they are 16 and half of adult mental health problems start before the age of 14. While the Scottish Government and society as a whole has begun to treat mental health and physical health equally, we still have a long way to go.

If we are going to truly develop a mentally healthy society, we must begin with a renewed focus on prevention and early intervention, so that our children and young people get the support they need, where and when they need it.

As such, the Scottish Children’s Services Coalition have long campaigned for mental health and wellbeing education to be expanded in schools, so that we equip our young people with emotional resilience and coping skills required to thrive in the modern world.

Initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week go a long way in moving the national conversation forward, raising awareness of this important issue which affects each and every one of us.

Yours Sincerely


The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition, comprising:

Tom McGhee, Managing Director, Spark of Genius

Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive, Who Cares? Scotland

Sophie Pilgrim, Director, Kindred Scotland

Stuart Jacob, Director, Falkland House School

Niall Kelly, Managing Director, Young Foundations

Liz May, National Co-ordinator, Action for Sick Children Scotland

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