Labour leader, Ed Miliband and singer, Frankie Sandford from girl group, The Saturdays are among those supporting a campaign – YoungMinds Vs – that is calling for swift action on the growing mental problems among young people.
A survey commissioned for the national charity uncovered that children and young people are growing up in an ‘unprecedented toxic climate’ of growing mental health issues, including stress and fear of failure, but that many do not know where to turn to get help.
Depression and pressure to be thin were among the complaints made by the 2000 youngsters, aged 11 to 25, who were surveyed, while more than half admitted to feeling like a failure if they did not achieve good grades in education. Bullying was another complaint, with half admitting to have experienced it.
Also highlighted was that a third of children and young people do not know where or to whom they can turn to get help when struggling with feelings of anxiety and/or depression.
Speaking about the YoungMinds Vs campaign, Ed Miliband highlighted the importance of making mental health issues more transparent,
“YoungMinds’ survey exposes some of the pressures children are under in Britain today, from bullying and sexualisation to worries about job prospects. And when they feel depressed, too many young people are afraid to speak out, or find a lack of support when they do.
“Good mental health is essential for children to thrive and succeed. That’s why we must ensure all young people have access to the help and support they need, when they need it.”
It is thought that the 24/7 online culture is contributing significantly to the mental health issues among children and young people today. In fact, the YoungMinds survey revealed that more than half of 11 to 14-year-olds have seen online pornography, with four out of ten of these admitting it had affected their relationships with others of their age.
Lucie Russell, the YoungMinds campaigns director, stresses that the primary danger of this “unprecedented toxic climate” lies in the fact young people and children can “never switch off”.