The crisis that we have with children and young people’s mental health is not going to be solved in consulting rooms and clinical settings across our county. The crisis may be contained by professionals in clinical settings, but it is not going to be solved there.
It will be solved in communities – in schools, in families, in friendship groups, in youth clubs, in charities. It will be solved by changes in attitudes, in cultures, in beliefs and behaviours – not just in the young people themselves, but in their parents, their teachers, their friends and their medical staff. It will be solved by young people having access to and making use of healthy coping strategies – exercise, peer support, long-term bond with a trusted adult, mindfulness - and avoiding unhealthy coping strategies – substance abuse, violence, abusive relationships, eating unhealthily.
Until we – councils, health services, parents, police, schools, charities – understand where the changes are needed and take significant measures to help young people in this way, the crisis will only get worse.