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We all have mental health just as we all have physical health. Our minds can become unwell just like our bodies can become unwell. Yet we are more likely to talk about our physical health than we are about our mental health.
Mental health problems are actually more common than you think. Mental illness affects 1 in 4 of us in any year. The effects are as real as a broken leg or broken arm, even though there isn’t a sling or plaster cast to show for it.
According to a survey in schools: 14% of students aged 15-16 said they had self-harmed: three times more common in girls than boys. More recent survey shows higher figures: 22% of those aged 15 had self-harmed. Again, rates were three times as high for girls (32% of girls compared to 11% of boys). The majority of those self-harming said they did so once a month or more. Half of all lifetime cases of psychiatric disorders start by age 14 and ¾ by age 24. Some estimates suggest the majority start before age 18. Surveys shows around 13% of boys and 10% of girls aged 11-15 have mental health problems
The most common problems for boys are conduct problems. For girls they are emotional difficulties .
“Adolescence and young adulthood is a key developmental period in anyone’s life. Failing to recognise and respond to mental health issues experienced by young people can blight their whole lives. Neglect on the scale we see today is not only morally indefensible but also very costly.”
Young Minds, Read more here
In the video below, Martin Knapp talks more about mental health and young people.