Prioritising prevention: empowering and educating young people to take a proactive approach to mental health.
Article featured in the WellBook Guide: The Resilience Issue
By Claire Libby, Founder of i am me
It may surprise you that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14, and consider this statistic to be on the conservative side given that many young people may not realise they are suffering with a mental illness. So, how in a society that prioritises cure over prevention, do we make a shift in these statistics?
It’s a tough question to answer. Waiting times for mental health support vary throughout the country, with some having to wait months. We know from our research that this ‘waiting’ time can cause young people to turn to more harmful ways of coping. Imagine finally having the courage to ask for help, and then being told to wait it out for 3 months. It’s clear that nationally, the system that is there to support our young people, can’t cope with the demand being placed upon it.
We must stop ‘putting a plaster’ over mental health.
That’s why I truly believe the next generation must be empowered and educated to successfully support and proactively look after their own mental health, rather than reactively firefighting...