Mental Health of our young people.

At last it seems we are all able to speak openly about mental health, although I would suggest some still feel there is a stigma involved. The more everyone feels comfortable with talking about it the less a stigma there will be.

1 in 4 of us will suffer from a mental illness of some sort, no one is immune. It can strike us down when we least expect it and spiral us into a black hole.

We are hearing more and more about the mental health of our young people, the young say how unhappy they feel that they see no future for themselves.

Young people as young as Primary School children, have no self-esteem,  are under increasing pressures at school with the endless testing they have to endure, being labelled as below attainment.

We now know that millions of youngsters are living in a one parent family, although of course there is no such thing as a one parent family, it takes two to make children.

Children are having to deal with family breakdown in all its forms.

My parents split up when I was 16 and I remember thinking it must be my fault. It wasn’t of course.

The numbers of youngsters self harming and feeling suicidal is on the increase, youngsters who feel hopeless.

As a society we need to address this dreadful situation.

There has been a great deal of publicity by high profile names over the last couple of years to highlight mental health in the young, which I applaud but it is down to the people with powers, to wake up to what is happening, not just with words and pumping money into mental health organisations, it helps but it is not the only answer.

Government must address the ever increasing epidemic numbers of family breakdown, they must recognise the life long damage that is occurring on the millions of children who are affected.

Somewhere along the line we have lost sight of basic family values.

Family is what holds everything together, the foundation that is necessary to build a strong future.

The days have gone when children would share their worries and joys with other family members, children knew they had a circle of family who would always be there for them, who would always be watching over them.

Now we live in a throw away society, and family is all too often thrown away to.

Each member of a family is a link in the chain, the links are its strength, remove a link and the strength has gone.

As a grandparent I can not put into words how it makes me feel to know that there are young people out there, now, this moment in contemplating ending it all because life is too hard to go on.

I can remember still, after all those years, that my Mums only concern when they separated was, the effect it was going to have on us. Never once did she think about herself, it was always us, the children.

Whatever your point of view, you can’t escape the fact that it takes two to make a child, those two people may well fall out, but they still have the most important job of all. They are both equal parents to the most precious people of all their children. A responsibility to make sure those children feel valued, feel loved and never feel hopeless.

The decline in the mental health of our young people, is for all of us to be aware of, whatever the reasons for them feeling so unhappy, we must work towards a better understanding of how family breakdown is a factor, whether we like it or not.

Government must acknowledge that society needs family to be in good health as well.


About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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