Back in September, I attended a conference. The topic was “Children and Young People With Mental Health Conditions: Improving Early Intervention and Outcomes Locally”, and I was there to talk about the outcomes in Brighton.
I won’t go through all the different aspects of the day; but I would like to share some of the questions and comments made, and my responses to them.
Please note these are all the personal opinion of one person; based on my experiences and those experienced by colleagues and clients. Some of these experiences are my own, some of people I’ve known and worked with.
*In a survey, 26% of young people who have been stigmatised wanted to give up on life.*
Can I make that any more powerful a message?
Questions, Quotes and Responses
“Does Self Harm spread? Can it be grown out of?”
I would say that it does spread, as “this helped me. Feel free to try it in case it helps you”.
Some people seem to be able to find other ways of dealing with stress. In others, it’s like eating disorders as when stressed, the temptation often returns, as the brain remembers “that worked” and thus it’s hard to forget.
“You get person A not thinking to cross the corridor to person B to ask if they know of anyone who can help. It’s just a fact of life.”
I DISAGREE. That sounds like poorly-trained professionals to me. I can understand time-constraints, or Person B being busy, yes.
“Forgetting” to ask if the children’s department can help this child is not “a fact of life”; it’s a problem that needs solving.
“I was surprised just how basic I had to get when talking with teachers.”
The things this speaker defined as “basics” were words I did not recognise, despite understanding all about CCGs, resilience, talking therapies and the shifts in commissioning. These are not “basics” to a teacher. These are JARGON. Just as all my neuroscience words are jargon. As are dentists number of teeth or doctor’s notes.
I would suggest when working with people from another sector, that you try using words you learned outside of the industry. I would never expect people to know what I am saying if I’m using the specialist terms of my specialist area.
“A report by OFSTED found that schools wouldn’t “spend money on playground tarmac” (CONTEXT: schools feel that spending money on mental health is as important/useful as redecorating the playground)
If schools view mental health as being as/less important then play-time (which is damned important, I’d like to add), I think they should quit, or shut up.
Would a school say “we won’t spend money on access for wheelchairs” or “we won’t spend money on ensuring there’s no asbestos in the ceilings”. Mental health is part of physical health and just because there’s no law saying you have to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
*50% of people who face a mental health problem experience the beginning before the age of 14.*
That means that anyone experiencing mental health problems before the age of 15 isn’t a “faker” or “trying to be cool”. They could be 50% of the future-adults who will experience a mental health problem.
How would answer those questions?
- Can you “grow out of” Self-Harm?
- Does Self Harm “catch”?
- Is mental health important in schools?
- Should everyone working for a company know at least how to get hold of the other sectors within that company?
– Rose –
P.S. Again, this is just my opinion. I have deliberately kept individual and company names out of this post.