Natasha Devon MBE, founder of the Body Gossip Education Programme, said in an article in The Independent that changes in education since 2010 have led to problems for young people. The shift to focus more on academic subjects, which in essence means a reduction in physical and creative outlets, is not giving children the chance to destress that they previously had access to. Nor do they have as many opportunities to work through any anxiety.
Interestingly, more children might also be seeking help. A BBC article published in May reported figures showing that more than a quarter of children referred to mental health services in England last year, including those who attempted suicide, received no help. Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Trusts were reporting that the demand for their services was just too high and that more awareness of mental health conditions had more people coming forward for help. This rise in awareness is obviously a good thing, but the infrastructure of care, it seems, is unable to keep up.
So with more awareness and communication around mental health issues, is there really an increasing problem or has it always been there? And, of course, the more important question, does it really matter? The fact that we know that around 53 children call Childline everyday thinking about taking their own lives is shocking whatever has happened previously.The point is that we look at how to solve this.