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A record high of 1.4 million children looked for mental health help last year

  • person Chris Dixon
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A record high of 1.4 million children looked for mental health help last year

I can't see the mental health crisis getting any less destructive unless we educate and encourage the development of emotional awareness and intelligence from a young age.

The Guardian reports:

"A record 1.4 million children and young people sought NHS help for mental health problems last year, amid concern that under-18s are struggling with issues including about money and their education."

Most of us have grown up unequipped to communicate how we are feeling. This has more than one consequence. Not only do we suppress our own emotions which could result in mental health struggles or hinder how well we deal with them, we also find it difficult to empathise or identify when someone may be facing issues.

There is a feeling of shame around what we perceive as "negative" emotions such as sadness or anger. A culture of toxic positivity has been cultivated where we feel uncomfortable seeing a friend or family member cry, telling them not to, rather than providing them a safe space to express how they feel.

We want to live in a world where we are consistently filled with joy and excitement - this is an impossibility. We are human beings and we react to many things each and every day. To deny how we actually feel is a disservice to ourselves.

Ultimately, we can't control how we feel and we can't ignore emotions without impacting on our mental health.

I think part of the solution is to destigmatise feelings perceived as negative, so they are normalised. After all, they are natural - unlike Tik Tok and money which are all constructs in some form and are causing great anxiety in young people.

We are not going to stop the development of technology and the sweeping negative effects of social media, so we need to equip the next generation with the tools to talk about and tackle how they are feeling, instead of burying those emotions deeply, building them up so eventually a breakdown is inevitable.


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