Why listening to children really matters when it comes to mental health, from one of our Ambassadors
Thanks to Maya who is one of the Children’s Commissioner’s Ambassadors. Maya applied to become of Dame Rachel’s Ambassadors because she wanted to raise awareness about young people’s mental and physical health. Read more about Maya’s experience here:
“I am passionate about mental health in young people. I have struggled with anxiety in the past and continue to do so now. I understand how important it is to discuss these issues.
Mental Health week is a very important time to start having these conversations and raise awareness of the struggles of young people.
Mental health is an issue that affects many young people. Lots of us are able to get help and support with the issues they face, such as with mental health plans from schools or having someone in your life that can look out for you.
However, many are not getting the help they need.
So many young people are just names on waiting lists or they can’t even get onto the lists because the need is so high. It’s heartbreaking to know that there are thousands of people around the country that are struggling and finding it very hard to access the help they, and other people, know they need.
In Children’s Mental Health week, I think we should draw attention to another group of people.
This is the large group of young people who are pushed aside and who are deemed ‘ok’ enough to get on with life, but those people might still be experiencing daily challenges.
These young people can be affected by many issues and might not be fortunate enough to have a mental health diagnosis.
Mental health struggles present themselves differently in people, and you can’t assume people are fine. These young people also need help, but nobody is checking in on them.
Often, they don’t even have a designated teacher to make sure they’re doing ok and coping, and not struggling in silence.
The latest NHS statistics show that one in five children and young people have a probable mental health issue.
Young people’s mental health needs to be seen as a very urgent issue.
The government needs to be talking about it this week and every other week.
We need decision makers to make plans around mental health, to find out opinions from young people – the theme for this week is My Voice Matters and I want all politicians to take this on board. They need to listen to young people.
I would also like to see more help for supporting adults like teachers, parents and carers to implement effective action.
It’s not just politicians who make a difference – we all have a role to play so I would encourage you to reach out and find people if you think you might need help.
Right now, there is a whole generation of young people struggling.
These are the future adults, the future lawyers, writers, politicians, factory workers, supermarket staff, fashion designers, doctors, nurses, carers, teachers, friendly neighbours and important people. We have to invest in young people and their mental health to help them long term because our voices need to matter.
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