Mental Health Education

Devan Witter says more understanding from a younger age could help tackle the growing issue, where 1 in every 3 schoolchildren have a mental health condition.

A man from Market Weighton wants mental health to be put on the national curriculum.

Devan Witter, the East Riding anti-bullying ambassador, claims it’s vital for school children to understand mental health, as it can be closely linked with bullying.

He believes education looking at the symptoms and treatments will help youngsters recognise how they can help others as they grow older.

Devan says it’s important children understand mental health:

“If they’re educated about it earlier then they’ll understand it more later on if they do sort of see young people developing these mental health conditions. So they’ll be more aware of how to approach that young person, rather than pushing them to one side and forgetting about them.”

He says they’ll be many benefits:

“It’ll also help children deal with modern pressures they face, and provide them with the advice they need to seek help, rather than suffer in silence like many other young people have.”

Devan says, on average, 3 children in each class could suffer from a mental health condition:

“One in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder; so that’s around every 3 children in every class. So it’s quite important that young people are aware of these issues.”

The original article can be seen here.

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Make a Noise about Bullying

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Anti-Bullying Week in England is coordinated by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and will be from 16th – 20th November 2015. The theme is ‘Make a Noise about bullying’ with the #antibullyingweek.

You can enter their Anti-Bullying Week competition with classic musical, Wicked.

Here is the Anti-Bullying Week video for 2015:

The key aims of the week are…
  • To empower children and young people to make a noise about bullying – whether it is happening to them or to someone else, face to face or online;

  • To help parents and carers have conversations with their children about bullying – both as a way of preventing bullying, and to help children who are worried about bullying;

  • To encourage ‘talking schools’ where all children and young people are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues that effect their lives, and are supported to report all forms of bullying;

  • To equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they’re being bullied; and

  • To raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children’s lives if they don’t tell anyone it’s happening – or if they are not given appropriate support – with a focus on the impact on mental health.

 How can you get involved?
  • Share this year’s logo on your website, social networks and resources. The suite of logos can be downloaded from the ABA Resources section on their website

  • Follow them @ABAonline for regular updates on the week

  • Check out the ABA website for more information: www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk

*Please note all inforation here has been taken from the Anti-Bullying Alliance website. The Devan Group are currently one of the Core Members of ABA. For more information about the Devan Group please vsit www.devangroup.moonfruit.com.

Bullying & Mental Health

Today I am looking at the issue of Bullying & Mental Heath and the problems which they both have in common.

Firstly bullying can have many short term and long term effects on a young person. Short term it can cause depression, make them want to self-harm or commit suicide, make the victim feel unwanted or even unloved. They may develop a lack of confidence or low self-esteem and even Social Anxiety Disorder [SAD].

Long term they could develop chronic depression, or a mental health condition such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD], Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [OCD] and others. I have more information about the effects bullying can have on my website, created with the help of Fixers here: www.adviceforteachers.org.uk.

Young people can also have a mental health condition which makes them different, such as suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD], OCD, or an eating disorder to name a few. A young person suffering with a mental health condition may then get bullied because of that, this could lead to their condition being worsened or even them developing other conditions.

Some statistics:

Out of 3,600 young people 83% stated that what they have gone though has impacted their self-esteem, and that 30% of young people bullied would go on to self-harm.

According to the independent: “Liam Hackett, chief executive officer of Ditch The Label, said the survey showed “the profound effect bullying is having on children’s self-esteem and therefore the future prospects of millions of young people across the UK”.”

This tells me that more needs to be done about raising the awareness of both Mental Health and Bullying in schools.

If you are suffering and are not sure where to go, you can contact Get Connected, Young Minds or Time To Change.

It’s never too late to speak out, contact someone today!

Notes & Source(s):

http://www.youngminds.org.uk/

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/youngpeople

http://adviceforteachers.fixers.org.uk/home/effects-of-bullying.php

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/report-10-of-bullied-teenagers-have-tried-to-commit-suicide-9262874.html

#OurFuture

Why young people are #OurFuture

Us young people tend to get a lot of bad press yet we are the people who are creating the future – we are also the creators of our own futures. Many young people use the power of social action to change and influence the way we are seen in the press, by changing negative situations into positives.

One way the UK government are planning on creating more opportunities for young people is by working with Step Up To Serve, to encourage more social action. They are also supporting the NCS campaign which helps 16 to 17 year olds take part in social action projects.

Young people have real stories to tell and these help us to spread and create positive change. I am one of these young people. I am continually using my experience of being bullied to encourage more young people to speak out and find help.

One of the ways in which I was able to do this was with the help from Fixers. They are an amazing charity who have helped me to set up my own website, Advice For Teachers which is designed to help tackle bullying.

NCS have created a new campaign called #OurFuture which is not only designed to meet their #iwill campaign commitment;

“but to help combat the negative stereotypes of young people and boost knowledge of and participation in youth social action across the board.”

I am asking you to help change the negatives about young people into positives by taking part in social action and saying #iwill.

If you are interested in social action and want to find out how you can get involved head over to iwill.org.uk.

One thing to remember is that: young people have a huge power to change the world.

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Isn’t bullying just part of growing up?

45% of young people are bullied before the age of 18 and some people believe that this is just part of growing up saying “it’s character building.”

This however is not the case, bullying can have some huge effects on young people and can also aid in the development of mental heath conditions, such as SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

“So it’s not just part of growing up?”

Out of 3,600 young people questioned, 10% said they have attempted to commit suicide – that’s a massive 360 young people! Yet a further 30% have actually self-harmed because of being bullied proves otherwise.

Some people believe that we are “running the risk of children growing up who are not going to be able to look after themselves in social situations” yet one main effect of bullying is Social Phobia…

So why do people let it happen? Its not surprising that 51% of young people are not happy with the support they receive from teachers – but why is this?

My opinion is that there is not enough information provided to schools about the issue and that some teachers have never been a victim – therefore do not understand what its like as a young person.

That is one of my main reasons for working with Fixers to create a website for teachers on how to tackle bullying. The website can be seen here www.adviceforteachers.org.uk. Fixers are an amazing charity providing young people a voice and the best part is that they reach every UK postcode.

By teaching the teachers about bullying, we can start to help change the attitude towards it, by showing that it is not accepted and not a part of growing up. If something like this causes so many problems it should be stopped once it is apparent.

There are some great organisations out there who provide help and support to victims of bullying. My main advice to anyone being bullied is to tell someone. You can start that now by contacting Get Connected.

Remember there’s always someone you can talk to, so don’t suffer in silence. Have a chat today. It’s good to be different.

Click here to contact Get Connected or visit www.getconnected.org.uk.getconnected_logo

Notes:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-490250/Coping-bullies-growing-says-child-expert.html

http://www.ditchthelabel.org/uk-bullying-statistics-2014/

http://www.headspace.org.au/is-it-just-me/find-information/bullying