The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust today visited Batley Girl’s High School, to raise awareness about mental health issues.
The day was organised as part of the school’s ‘Healthy Schools Week’ and pupils had the chance to learn how to take care of their mental health and speak to health professionals. Pupils also watched a play which highlighted mental health issues and took part in art workshops run by the University of Huddersfield.
A recent report (June 2006) by the British Medical Association (BMA) has highlighted that mental health problems in children and young people are common:
• One in 10 children below the age of 15 in Britain has a mental health problem
• An estimated 1.1 million children need access to specialist mental health help
• Problems could range from sleep disorders, temper tantrums and eating disorders to behaviour problems or depressive and obsessive disorders.
• Emotional disorders, such as depression, phobias and eating problems like anorexia, were more prevalent among girls, while boys were more likely to suffer from conduct disorders such as severe temper tantrums.
Phil Walters, public involvement manager at the Trust said, "These figures show how important it is to raise awareness of mental health among young people. It’s vital that children and teenagers understand how to take care of their mental health and where to turn for help, support and advice when they need to. By helping young people understand mental health issues it helps to reduce to stigma surrounding mental illness. "
Teacher and Healthy Schools Co-ordinator Ellen Hill said, "Healthy Schools Week is part of our promotion of Batley Girl’s High School as a healthy school. We time this event to coincide with Batley Carnival 4 Life. Working with the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust has been an enriching experience – we have developed the day so as well as information stands, we’ve had a theatre group focusing on aspects of depression and an art workshop in conjunction with Huddersfield University to design posters on mental health issues."