What is the issue? Between 2015 and 2016 we had a few schools contacting us that they needed our services but due to cuts, they were unable to pay. Unfortunately, we were unable to offer them our services. However, we worked hard to refer and connect them with the charity organisation in and around the schools, and after a few weeks, luckily these schools had a Counsellor dispatched to them by charities and qualified Counsellors goodwill.
Schools need support but most do not seem to have the financial capacity, and this brought up a real concern for us at Floating Counselling. It seems they are facing financial cuts, and children's mental health are suffering. In the last few months, we have had parents concerned about their children's mental state and unsure where to get help, statistics and the parents we are talking to say schools were hardly able to help. NHS are overwhelmed, and the waiting list can take up to 6 months to a year. The fact is, probably more children are in need of mental health support than are reported. There are still parents who refuse to face that their child may need help with their mind/wellbeing. There have been reports of people who remember their anxiety or other mental issues started at an earlier age but was dismissed by parents and careers, so it festered into their teens and adulthood.
Why do some parents not get their child/ren help?
Some say admitting and facing it will make it real - Denial
Some say they did not know mental health is a real thing - Ignorance
Some say it will look bad on the family if people knew - Fear of shame
Some say they were not told by (their kids, teachers etc)- Lack of communication / knowledge.
Evidence of needs:
If everyone received early intervention, it would save the NHS £44 million every year. The Department for Education has commissioned a major new study to understand the mental health provision available to children and young people in schools, at present and for the past few years, it has revealed that: 1 in 5 children under 11 years old suffer from Mental health issues in the UK, that is children in Primary schools and 1 in 10 young people suffer from 5- 16 years old, till they sit their GCSE. More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood.
15 months ago the Guardian published the strain on NHS and A& E services - It showed, that there were 18,673 young people with psychiatric condition turning up to A&E, especially after hours 5 pm. There is an increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self-harm, over the last ten years, this figure has grown by 68%. Research from Healthy London shows on an average day, 385 people experiencing a mental health crisis will call the London Ambulance Service, 13% of the London Ambulance Service’s daily calls, a further 200 calls are made to the Metropolitan Police Service. 86% of people who hit crisis point reports not feeling supported, 14% felt supported.
Broken homes have also shown to add to children's mental health struggles. Parents are finding it harder to stay together after children - 1 in 3 children are growing up in lone parent homes, 3.8million children live with one biological parent either the father or the mother in UK. More than 1 in 10 mothers experience mental illness such as anxiety and depression during or the first year after pregnancy. If untreated, this will have a massive impact on children and families. Around 23% of women who died between six weeks and one year after pregnancy died from mental health related causes.
Public Health England in 2015 published researches showing low self esteem and other mental health problem has been linked to gang affiliation, screening tools from Liverpool John Moores University showed 86% of gang members were identified as having antisocial personality disorder, 67% alcohol dependence, 59% anxiety disorder, 58% drug dependence, 34% suicide attempt, 25% psychosis and 20% depression.
1 in 6 people experience mental health issues and difficulty every week
"Price tag of up to £60,000 per child, per year the lifelong impact of mental illness on young people and their families is something we can’t afford to ignore.”
MP Paul Burstow on the survey, by the Centre Forum Mental Health Commission 2014.
”What is needed to tackle this crisis and what is Floating Counselling doing to help?
Pampering session for the mothers
One to one / group / family counselling/workshop
Education to show the importance of mental health/wellbeing
Education to eliminate ignorance to what mental health is and means
Parental mental health workshop / support and awareness (both parents)
We work hard to communication between agencies involved with parents attending our workshops
Holistic education for parents/ careers, schools staffs and the children as well as within communities
Most parent will say if their child needs anything, they will move mountains to try and get it. However some parents are turning a blind eye to their children's mental wellbeing because they do not understand it, they are ignorant of the cause and how it happens.
Schools need to educate parents, that mental health is just as important as physical health if not more.
We do not tell a cancer patient to stop being sick and get out of bed because we know it is a real illness, there needs to be an education in schools around wellbeing. Floating Counselling plans to keep working in schools in and around London, Croydon, Surry and Kent to support and educate parents.
Other support / Organisation
There are so many resources and organisations like ourselves out there helping, charities, private and independent sectors, however, most school and adults are still unaware who to turn to either for mental or physically support and what they can do to help. Below is just five organisation we have realised most are unaware of their existence, with their website.
MindEd is free useful tools for families and professionals to help children, funded by Department of Health. MindEd helps adults to spot mental health problems (looking at how problems manifest themselves through particular feelings or behaviours, for example). It demonstrates the best course of action and provides guidance in communicating and engaging with children and young people involved. www.mindEd.org.uk
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) www.ace-ed.org.uk
Provides independent, practical advice and support for parents and carers who are in need of information on state education in England. School Admissions and Appeals, Exclusion from School, Special Educational Needs. Disability, Discrimination, Tackling Bullying
Independent Parent Special Education Advice (IPSEA)
IPSEA - Independent Parent Special Education Advice. www.ipsea.org.uk
Helps families get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities. The website has free resources, which you can download, to help families get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disability (SEND).
Healthwatch England www.healthwatch.co.uk - is the national consumer champion in health and care. Have significant statutory powers to ensure the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services like Mental Health.
Support Line - www.supportline.org.uk Offer confidential emotional support to children, young adults and adults by telephone, email and post. Working with callers to develop healthy, positive coping strategies.