Children’s Mental Health

This is taken from the official website

Children’s Mental Health Week | 4 – 10 February 2019
Taking steps to be Healthy: Inside and Out

Place2Be is encouraging young people and adults to look after their bodies and their minds.

It does not have to be difficult
Our bodies and our minds are connected, so simple things that we do to improve our physical well-being can help our mental well-being too.
(1)

Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity providing school-based support and in-depth training programmes to improve the emotional wellbeing of –
Pupils | Families | Teachers | School Staff
(2)

Dear World

Would it be a wise move to ask some sensible questions because any in-depth training programmes are going to affect a large population of society and more importantly the children will be our future adult generations?

Are those presenting and delivering training programmes living with a quality of emotional well-being that is in-depth?

Imagine these types of questions at an interview for the job of an in-depth emotional well-being trainer – would that be what parents would like for their children?

First – how connected are the people delivering any program?

How are our bodies looking and how do we feel about our body?

Is it clear and obvious we have a healthy mind and body?
Is ‘improving’ what we need or is there more to consider?

What is our own definition of in-depth?
What are we training others about exactly?
What is our own living way of what we call well-being?

Example

If the presenter of well-being talks about the importance of Sleep and the steps to take to support early bedtime routine – are they themselves masters of this actual topic they are delivering “in-depth”?

How are we living on a daily basis and how is our own emotional well-being?

Do we look and feel full of vitality because we have a strong sleep rhythm and adhere to early bed without the need for stimulants or sleeping aids?

Do we ensure there is never screen time in the late evening hours before bedtime as we are asking others to do the same?

What if when someone talks about something they actually live, it holds a quality that others can feel?

What if it is this vibration that could make the real difference and bring about real change?

Back to the example, whilst it is important to teach about the sleep wake cycle and the effects of lack of sleep on the body, it is equally important to bring in a very practical approach that students, parents, teachers and everyone can take away and develop. This is where we may see the tides turn and document by way of qualitative research study, so that others all over the world can benefit.

It only takes one class to live the teachings in this way and by way of reflection, others would feel it like a magnet and be drawn to moving in the same direction and before we know it, a whole school including the staff are going to bed early.

Whilst this way has yet to be scientifically researched and tested over and over again – the point is could this be another way, as all else has failed when it comes to true emotional wellbeing?

Is it time to listen to real role models who walk the talk – like the author of this blog and well-being website?

What is the Definition of Child

English Oxford Living Dictionaries

A young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority

A son or daughter of any age

An immature or irresponsible person

A person who has little or no experience in a particular area (3)

NSPCC

England | Northern Ireland | Wales
A child is someone who is under age 18. Once they turn 18, they are legally an adult. (4)

FRA European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The age of majority is the age at which a child becomes an adult and acquires full legal capacity. It means that a person can engage in legal activities and is liable for any contractual obligations.

The age of majority is 18 years in all EU Member States except Scotland, where children are considered to have full legal capacity from the age of 16 years. (5)

UNICEF

The Convention on the Rights of the Child
Definition of the child (Article 1)
The Convention defines a ‘child’ as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the monitoring body for the Convention, has encouraged States to review the age of majority if it is set below 18 and to increase the level of protection for all children under 18. (6)

USA 

1 in 5 American children | Age 3 – 17 | Diagnosable
Mental | Emotional | Behavioural Disorder – any given year (7)

Number of Children Taking Psychiatric Drugs
Includes ADHD | Anti-Depressants | Anti-Psychotic Drugs | Anti-Anxiety Drugs

0 – 1 year 125,361
2 – 3 years 202,319
4 – 5 years 306,079
6 – 12 years 3,259,955
13 – 17 years 3,419,633 (8)

HELLO

We need to take a stop moment here and read these statistics again

This is one country so what are the real figures worldwide

Can we comprehend a baby under the age of 1 taking drugs

Can we understand that there are 125,361 babies taking drugs

3 million teenagers needing psychiatric drugs is telling us clearly

SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT

Suicide – 2nd leading cause of death for children age 10 – 17 (9)

ADHD Increase in Rates Past 20 Years – New Study

 The prevalence of ADHD in U.S. children and adolescents | study published 31 August 2018

1997   6.1%
2016   10.2%

Recent evidence also suggests that frequent use of digital media may be linked to an increase in symptoms that are typically associated with ADHD.  A long-term study has not yet been possible. (10)

Is Social Media Causing Childhood Depression

January 2018

A group of U.S. Child Welfare experts wrote to a social media platform citing evidence of adolescents reporting severe mood changes because of social media use and girls as young as 10 facing body image issues because of the pictures they are bombarded with on platforms who offer photo and video sharing social networking services. (11)

Why are 10 year old girls facing body image issues

Where is this going to lead to as they become teenagers

What is life going to be like for them in their 20s and 30s

What are our young kids going to end up doing or not doing

WHY have we as a world allowed what goes on in Social Media

What if we stopped the Blame game and took our own personal responsibility here

In other words, we all have a say and a hand in what goes on out there in our world

We can champion, campaign, fight what we don’t want or like or we can be the change we want to see in the world.

That means we live it day in and day out and that’s one less person contributing to not posting pictures and videos on social media.

Now that would leave us some time to do other things like go to bed early, prepare for work, tidy up, cook meals the old fashion way and other basic tasks as presented on this website.

Have we thought about our digital footprint

What is our digital responsibility and is it the same offline

Everything we do online is recorded, it is clocked whether we think it is or not

Most of us have had a faux paus moment where we Regret something we posted and rather than waste a second thinking about the error, a wise move would be to consistently take small steps to ensure it does not happen again.

NEXT

What is it about our minds that needs images, visuals, the eye candy to satiate our appetite and keep wanting More and More

What is the purpose and where is it going to end if we just keep bombarding the Internet with our photos and videos which could be harmfull to not only ourselves but others too

Where has the old fashion common decency and respect gone when it comes to modern day life for kids on Social Media

How fast are they growing up and who is raising them

Are we as adults failing somewhere and we just don’t know where to start

Have we added to our kids going crazy on social media because we do it daily

Have we seen our behaviour online as something we would not want our kids to do

Are we constantly checking our screens and then try and stop our kids

In other words, have double standards. We want them to do what we don’t do.

If a wise mother and father were asked is there a link with Social Media and Depression – they may say there is.

If we asked common sense the same question – it would probably say

“Think about it – the kid is not connected to who they truly are. They are using visuals in a world of virtual reality because it is not real earth life. This means they are not Committed to Life here on Earth and are giving their life force/energy to something outside of themselves, in this case social media. The masses are doing it so there is a big pull, a hook that sucks them in and they go with it.

As soon as they pull back or even switch off they feel the void – the emptiness inside of them and they think they need more of the same to not feel this hole.
This is where they stay in the loop which feeds them more of the same.

However, one movement in another direction would change all of this.
It is of course a choice, nothing more and nothing less and no big deal.

What if we just Stop and read the STOP blog on this website

Plug in and Connect – blog on this website gives the step by step guide on how to do this simple technique

Learning to repeat anything that supports our body with true health and wellbeing so it becomes our Foundation – read the blog for more insight

Learn what Commitment to Life means and how it is possible for each and every one of us as long as we are willing to make changes that do not harm us in any way.

BINGO – life starts to move in a different direction because the need – the pull to go to the outside world, in this case social media is simply not there as the void inside is filled up with purpose and connection.

Then once we have that inner most connection, we can support ourselves to ask for help and deal with the buried hurts and issues that we are carrying.

For more understanding about life – there are over 150 Blogs on this website presenting Another Way to live and be.

Keeping things Simple – another blog would help and the simple Recipe for Life is also available on this website to stay on track.

CANADA

Definition of a minor child varies depending on the province (12)

National Study
Children have high rates of mental illness | poverty | mortality

“An alarm bell needs to be rung…there are a range of factors that contribute to mental health issues.”
Sara Austin | Founder | Lead Director | Children First Canada

1 in 3 children experience child abuse | closely linked to Mental Health outcomes (13)

2012

Suicide – 2nd leading cause of death under 18’s

2015

One of the highest teenage suicide rates

2016

1 in 5 children age 13 – 18 reported considering suicide in past 12 months
46% of these children reported having a plan
(14)

Screen Time May Harm Toddlers

Large Canadian Study | 2,500 Children | Age 2

Letting a toddler spend lots of time using screens may delay their development of skills such as language and sociability.

2011 – 2016 mums surveyed about screen use

Screen time included watching TV programmes | films | videos | Gaming | computer | tablet | phone | any other screen-based device

17 hours screen time per week | Age 2

25 hours screen time per week | Age 3

Findings suggest increased viewing begins before any delay in development can be seen
Published in JAMA Paediatrics

It is not clear whether screen time – including how much or what type is directly to Blame
Screen use might just go hand-in-hand with other things linked to delayed development, such as upbringing and how a child’s remaining leisure time is spent.

Researchers think when young children are observing screens, they may be missing important opportunities to practice and master other important skills.

In theory, it could get in the way of social interactions and may limit how much time young children spend running, climbing and practicing other physical skills.

Even without solid proof and harm, it still makes sense to moderate children’s screen time and make sure it does not interfere with ‘face to face interactions or family time’.
Dr. Sheri Madigan

So here we have a doctor that is talking sense, telling us it makes sense to moderate children’s screen time and we don’t need to wait for solid proof/evidence.

We as a world seem to like the delay as it suits us on some level.

WHY else would we wait for solid proof when it is under our nose

In this case, our children are suffering with these modern day mental health issues and a probable cause is the screen time and use.

Is it probable or actually a fact, but we cannot say that for fear of being told we are not basing it on science who know best and have told us from day dot that it is the only one to have proof.

Have we forgotten that a human being is a living science so can we start with our own common sense research.

In other words, what if we observe closely the eye movement, body language, posture and what happens when our child is absorbed in screen time.

Then continue observing their movements when they stop the screen time and take it from there to see what behaviour changes there are and make a note.

Then get Talking to other parents at the school gates, then take it to the schools and ask them what they are observing and see if we can join the dots.

For far too long now, we have become dependent and reliant on not making changes or taking responsibility, when deep down we do know and we just have not bothered to take the steps.

It is our children that are suffering and this means the knock on effect has consequences.

We all suffer – all of society and then the bigger picture tells us these future adults are going to have a lot of mental health issues which of course will lead to other illness and disease.

We have a hand in all of this now – so the question is when are we going to change?

With hindsight researchers are saying they should have perhaps followed children from even a younger age as it is becoming increasingly common for 12 month old babies to be watching and using screens.

This new study does not make any recommendation about how much is too much.

Screen Time Guidelines

RCPCH – The Royal College Paediatrics and Child Health say adults should consider their own use of screens and set a good example.

Canada | USA
Experts say children should not use screens before 18 months old

UK
No guidelines set (15)

Dear World

Will we pay attention now as the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health are saying we, the adults need to set a good example.

Does that mean we have a responsibility to be real role models.

Has anyone noticed that we seem to always not have concrete solid answers when it comes to research and this means we wait for even more research and it goes on and on as history has shown us.

What if we get the facts, use our common sense, feel and know what is wrong and take it from there.

In other words, not wait for a scientific study to make recommendations but instead take the individual responsibility as parents or guardians to very young children and bring in the sensible approach, with a dose of common sense.

UK 

Chief Executive of Royal Society of Public Health has called for school lessons on how to use social media in a healthy way.

“In the last fortnight I have had two children request extra appointments because of online bullying.
These kids are living in a fictional world, sometimes to the detriment of their physical health. They might have physical ill-health, like toothache but they are still not wanting to leave their virtual worlds.”
Doctor Louise Theodosiou – Consultant Psychiatrist (16)

There is one group of children who have simply stopped going out because of their online addiction to Social Media | Gaming platforms | or both

Often, these children will refuse to travel to psychiatrist appointments, so a range of professionals have to make home visits to deal with the issue.

It can take months to persuade them to leave their bedrooms.

It can be very difficult for parents and it is known that some sleep with the home router to make sure the children cannot connect to the wi-fi in the middle of the night.

“Youngsters have a need to compulsively watch others and are getting upset because they feel their lives are not like that.
My sense is that they think that their friends have better lives than them, even though they are just seeing an idealized version of others’ lives.”
Doctor Louise Theodosiou – Consultant Psychiatrist (16)

3 Children in Every Class Suffering Mental Health Problems Fuelled by Social Media

Office of National Statistics Study | 7,000 Children

“Three children in every classroom thought to have diagnosable Mental Health problem, which is approaching epidemic proportions.

The nature of ‘vulnerability’ is changing and it does not respect class or privilege.

Across the country, children living in comfortable homes with their parents, who seem safe and secure. The moment they switch on their phone | tablet | computer – they enter a new realm where the usual rules, regulations and safeguards to not apply.”
Javed Khan – Chief Executive | Barnardos (17)

60% social workers | education staff | law enforcement staff – seen increase in vulnerable children

66% attributed the rising numbers to a shortfall in early intervention and said more children than ever had complex problems including –
Trauma | Grooming | Exploitation | Sexual Abuse

Call for Action to End Children’s ‘Battery-Hen Existence’ in Summer Holidays

Children’s Commissioner for England has warned – URGENT action needed to stop children leading “battery hen existence” during the summer holidays that is –

Damaging their Mental Health
Contributing to violence
Ensuring they return to school in worse health than when they left

Children measurably less fit by the end of summer holidays
Deterioration considerably worse among children from deprived areas
Study published in 2017 | UKactive | not-for-profit group of organisations (18)

We have built a world, which suppresses our children’s natural instinct to be active, replacing it with sedentary lifestyles and screen addiction.

The holidays should be spent playing with friends but for many children it has become an unhealthy, unstimulating and even Lonely time – damaging their physical and mental well-being. (18)

What if we asked parents to report what they observe when their child is watching the screen

What is the eye movement telling us

Are they in a trance

Does it feel like they are lost

Does it look like they are no longer aware of anything going on around them

Are they transfixed to this screen with total focus

What are they doing with their hands

Do they have a certain posture when doing screen time

How do they respond if we tell them to stop

What sort of things holds their attention on screen

Are they seeing what older siblings do and it’s a copy thing

Are they watching adult behaviour and doing exactly the same

Are they learning how to adjust to virtual reality

Are they finding a connection with this screen that talks to them

Then let’s interview the adults – the people responsible for raising these young toddlers

How are they feeling

How are they coping

How are their vitality levels

How convenient is it to hand a screen to a young child

How does screen time support quiet time in the household

2017

70,000 children prescribed anti-depressants in England

1,844 children under the age of 10

Pills prescribed in large numbers, despite warnings that they may harm developing brains for little benefit. (19)

NHS to offer Children | Depression Therapy | via Smartphone

Significant waiting times prompt introduction of new technology

75% children get worse before they are seen due to significant waiting time to access face to face counselling through child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

The digital therapy provides appointments with counsellors via a messenger-style chat app.

5 – 18 age group will now be recommended, as a first option in updated guidance for treating depression in children from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the watchdog which determines whether new treatments are cost effective for the NHS.

While digital CBT will not be an option for every child and will not be used as an option for those with a significant mental health condition or suicidal thoughts, the success of recent clinical trials caused new recommendations to be fast-tracked. (20)

Boys Behave Badly When Parents Divorce
Daily Mail – 17 January 2019

Major study | 6,000 children | age 3 – 14 | Impact divorce on children

16% rise in intensity of emotional problems | Primary school age | Early teenage years

Boy’s behaviour particularly badly affected

7 years of age and over | Children more likely to be damaged by divorce

Family splits occurring in late childhood are detrimental to adolescent mental health
Possible that children are more sensitive to relationship dynamics at this age
Family break-ups more disruptive to schooling and peer relationships at this stage

Children from more privileged backgrounds were just as likely to have mental health problems as their less advantaged peers.

1 in 10 children age 10 – 15 often Lonely
Analysis by the Office of National Statistics (21)

As our recent blog on this website says –

WHY have we got loneliness when there are over 7 billion people here

Read the blog on Loneliness for more understanding

Calls for Action Over ‘Intolerable’ Child Mental Health Crisis

31 August 2018

Teachers | Doctors | Campaigners | MPs have warned
Children and Teenagers face ‘intolerable’ mental health crisis
Urgent cash injection needed in schools to prevent lifetime of damage

Concerns about rates of self-harm
Rise in numbers of children seeking help for Eating Disorders

100,000 children | Age 14 | Self-Harming
22% of girls affected

Teachers’ leaders said schools are at crunch point in terms of the mental health challenge facing classrooms and they feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Teachers are overwhelmed by the sheer number of students, showing signs of mental health problems. There is more focus on attainment measures rather than overall concern about the well-being of a child.
Louise Regan – Former President of the National Education Union (22)

“One girl I teach scratches herself until she bleeds when she is stressed.
Lots of students say they want to harm themselves…it is usually because they have lots going on at home but also lots of things in school, for example – exam pressure.”

I feel a lot of what goes on in lessons is all about exam technique and preparing yourself and not a lot goes into coping mechanisms… I am surprised more students have not fallen apart because of how stressful it is (in the exam years).”
Teacher from Comprehensive School – Yorkshire (22)

“We see more kids breaking down with anxiety, having to leave class. Some students in my class have panic attacks once a week and have to leave lessons.
Sometimes you end up with 10 emails a day saying ‘look out for this student and provide them with this’ … it can be overwhelming to spin all these plates and deliver good lessons.”
Teacher from Comprehensive School – Hertfordshire (22)

One mother, who asked to remain anonymous said her daughter had been self-harming since she was 13 and lots of her friends did it too.

“There are forums online where you can share scar photographs. There are support groups too but at the same time it is that weird thing of when does a support group become a window into what everyone else is doing.

I could give you loads of other examples of girls with eating disorders or other anxiety disorders. I know of about 6 children who have had to drop out of school completely and they are now in children’s mental health services.
Mother who asked to remain Anonymous (22)

200 British School Children take their lives each year (23)

What is the current form of Intelligence that we align and subscribe to that puts more focus on attainment and achievement than the overall wellbeing of a child

Does anyone ever dare to challenge this Intelligence that has been running our world of education and academia

Is there Another Way and is it time to ask more Questions

NAURU

Nauru is a small island near Australia with a population of 10,000 people (24)

Nauru Refugees: the island where children have Given Up on Life

1 September 2018

Mental Health Crisis | Refugee Children | Nauru | Suicide attempts | Acts of Self-Harm

8 -10 year old children – starting to see suicidal behaviour | absolute crisis
Louise Newman – Professor of Psychiatry | University of Melbourne (25)

Australia intercepts all asylum seekers and refugees who try to reach its shores by boat.
It insists they will never be able to resettle in Australia, so over the years has sent many to privately run “processing centres” it funds on Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Supporters argue the policy has been highly effective, resulting in a dramatic drop in illegal boat arrivals.

Huge physical and mental toll exacted on people placed in offshore detention facilities

Groups working with families on Nauru paint a brutal picture of life for children on the island.
Many have lived most of their life in detention, with no idea of what their future will be.

The trauma they have endured with poor and often dangerous conditions, contribute to a sense of hopelessness.

30 children are suffering from Traumatic Withdrawal Syndrome – known as Resignation Syndrome
Estimate from The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre | ASRC (25)

It is a rare psychiatric condition where sufferers, as a response to severe trauma, effectively withdraw from life.

The condition can be life-threatening as victims become unable to eat and drink.

“Around 3 months ago, we were seeing a smattering of this…then over that period it seems to have proliferated.”
Natasha Blucher – ASRC Detention Advocacy Manager (25)

“The outbreak of this very serious condition is particularly concerning.
In many ways it is not surprising… they are exposed to a lot of trauma there and a sense of hopelessness and abandonment. They feel very unsafe.”
Professor Newman – Former Advisor to Australian Government on The Mental Health of Asylum Seekers (25)

Most advocates and medical professionals assist families on Nauru remotely as access to the Island is heavily restricted.

60 cases referred – every child has some mental health impairment

“It is impossible not to. They witness suicide attempts almost daily as well as sexual harassment and physical and sexual abuse and there is no prospect of release.

3 year old children ‘displaying inappropriately sexualized behaviour’ – behaviour that typically only comes from having this acted upon themselves.”
Barri Phatarfod – GP | Doctors 4 Refugees (25)

What is Traumatic Withdrawal Syndrome

Progressive, deteriorating condition – commonly seen in children and can be life threatening.

Begins with disengagement from enjoyable activities such as playing and drawing and progressively worsens. Sufferers may begin to refuse food and drink.

In worst cases, sufferers will become unresponsive, unable to speak and their body will begin to shut down.

Treatment – can take months and requires access to Paediatric Intensive Care (25)

SWEDEN

First reported in late 1990s

Resignation Syndrome affects only the children of asylum-seekers, who withdraw completely ceasing to walk, talk or open their eyes.

169 cases in 2015 and 2016
Sweden’s National Board of Health (26)

AUSTRALIA

1 in 35 | age 4 – 17 | experienced a depressive disorder

1 in 14 | age 4 – 17 | experienced an anxiety disorder in 2015

50% of all lifetime cases of Mental Health disorders start by age 14 (27)

Dear World

How are we going to put a stop to the rise in children mental health?

Does it start with each and every one of us to take Responsibility for our own mental health?

Could it be that Simple?

Written by Bina Pattel
Community Mental Health and Psychiatry – Level 4 Award
Depression Management – Level 3. Grade: Distinction
Advanced Psychotherapy – Level 4. Grade: Distinction
Advanced Psychology – by examination. Grade B
Stress Consultant – Corporate & Professional Level 3. Grade: Distinction


If you are feeling suicidal, contact your GP for support or the Suicide Helplines.

In a crisis contact your emergency services.

UK – Samaritans available 24 hours
Tel: 116 123

Childline – for children and young people
Tel: 0800 1111

USA – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Tel:  1-800-273-8255

Other Countries
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers
https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres


References

(1) (2019). Children’s Mental Health Week. https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/ Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkpnbr9OF4AIV4RXTCh1anA56EAAYASAAEgIjWPD_BwE

(2) (n.d.). About Place2Be. https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/ Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/about-place2be/

(3) (n.d.). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/child

(4) (n.d.). What is a Child? NSPCC. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-protection-system/legal-definition-child-rights-law/legal-definitions/

(5) (n.d.). Age of Majority. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2017/mapping-minimum-age-requirements/age-majority

(6) (n.d.).The Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Guiding_Principles.pdf

(7) Snow, K., & McFadden, C. (2017, December 11). Generation at Risk: America’s Youngest Facing Mental Health Crisis. NBC News. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-health/generation-risk-america-s-youngest-facing-mental-health-crisis-n827836

(8) (2017). Number of Children & Adolescents Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the U.S. CCHR International. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/children-on-psychiatric-drugs/

(9) (2016). Suicide. NIMH. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml

(10) Bracho-Sanchez, E. (2018, August 31). ADHD Rates in Kids Have Increased Over the Past 20 Years, New Study Says. ABC NEWS. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://abcnews.go.com/Health/adhd-rates-kids-increased-past-20-years-study/story?id=57526368

(11) Wakefield, J. (2018, February 10). Is Social Media Causing Childhood Depression? BBC News. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42705881

(12) (2013, February 25). Provincial Definitions of a Minor. Government of Canada. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/refugee-protection/canada/processing-provincial-definitions-minor.html

(13) (2018, September 4). Canadian Children Have High Rates of Mental Illness, Poverty and Mortality: National Study. GlobalNews. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from https://globalnews.ca/news/4421642/canadian-children-health-study/

(14) (2018). Raising Canada. University of Calgary. p.12. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://obrieniph.ucalgary.ca/files/iph/raising-canada-report.pdf

(15) Roberts, M. (2019, January 28). Screen Time May Harm Toddlers. BBC News. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47026834

(16) Wakefield, J. (2018, February 10). Is Social Media Causing Childhood Depression? BBC News. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42705881

(17) Hymas, C. (2018, September 23). Three Children in Every Classroom Suffering Mental Health Problems Fuelled by Social Media, Barnardos Chief Warns. The Telegraph. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/23/three-children-every-classroom-suffering-mental-health-problem/

(18) Savage, M. (2018, August 25). Call for Action to End Children’s ‘Battery Hen Existence’ In Summer Holidays. The Guardian. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/25/end-battery-hen-existence-in-summer-holidays-childrens-commissioner

(19) Dalton, J. (2018, July 21). Tens of Thousands of Children Prescribed ‘Potentially Harmful’ Antidepressants. Independent. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/children-antidepressants-prosac-school-age-drugs-pills-brain-doctors-a8458236.html

(20) Matthews-King, A. (2019, January 23). NHS to Offer Children Depression Therapy via Smartphone in Bid to Cut Waiting Times. Independent. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-therapy-depression-children-mental-health-digital-cbt-treatment-nice-a8742296.html

(21) Siddique. H. (2018, December 5). One in 10 Children ‘Often Lonely’, According to ONS Figures. The Guardian. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/05/one-in-10-children-often-lonely-according-to-new-ons-figures

(22) Marsh, S., & Boateng, A. (2018, August 31). Calls for Action Over UK’s ‘Intolerable’ Child Mental Health Crisis. The Guardian. Retrieved February 6, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/31/calls-for-action-over-uks-intolerable-child-mental-health-crisis

(23) Crawford A. (2019, January 22). Instagram ‘Helped Kill My Daughter’. BBC News. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-46966009/instagram-helped-kill-my-daughter?intlink_from_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Ftopics%2Fc40rjmqdlljt%2Fchildren&link_location=live-reporting-map

(24) (n.d). Our Country. The Government of the Republic of Nauru. Retrieved February 3, 2019 from
http://www.naurugov.nr/about-nauru/our-country.aspx

(25) Harrison, V. (2018, September 1). Nauru Refugees: The Island Where Children Have Given Up on Life. BBC News. Retrieved February 6, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45327058

(26) Pressly, L. (2017, October 26). Resignation Syndrome: Sweden’s Mystery Illness. BBC News. Retrieved February 3, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-41748485

(27) (n.d). Stats and Facts. Beyond Blue. Retrieved February 3, 2019 from
https://www.youthbeyondblue.com/footer/stats-and-facts

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Comments 10

  1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6659257/Screen-limit-children-New-official-guidelines-state-youngsters-need-break-phones.html

    Daily Mail – 2 February 2019

    Government lays out its first official guidelines for youngsters’ web use.
    It is telling parents to enforce breaks every two hours and BAN social media at bedtime.

    This comes after a father blamed a social media platform for the death of his daughter.

    Now that parents are being told officially, will it change anything and who is going to take this seriously?

    Will our kids just demand what they have been used to which is video games, TV, mobile phones and tablets?

    Would it be like taking away their sweets which they need and love and have no intention of giving up?

    WHY have we not questioned before about children being too young to be allowed social media accounts?

    WHY are we being told by these children that getting around lax age restrictions was a ‘game’?

    A study found that children who do screen time before bedtime were far more likely to be sleep-deprived during the week.

    However, the Chief Medical Officer for England states that there is no definitive link between the use of technology and growing levels of mental health problems among children and young people.

    Hello – with due respect to a chief bigwig in their field, can we question this statement?

    The word definitive is telling us we have not yet reached an agreement or conclusion.

    Is this because we are waiting for more and more research or can we read this blog and come to our own conclusions?

    Whilst we wait for those in authority to tell us what is best for our kids, could we use a dose of common sense and open our eyes and see what is really going on?

    Any child spending excess time looking into a screen is going to be feeling different as this is not a natural state of being.

    We have somewhere along the line forgotten how good old fashion going to bed early with a routine and rhythm did work.

    Instead we are caught up in this modern fast world of social media, internet, tv and video games to entertain us.

    Whilst we wait for more studies to make this link definitive, it would be a wise move for any reader to check out the blogs on this website by searching –

    TV
    Social Media
    Internet
    Mental Health
    Youth

    After reading the stats and the facts and pondering on all the questions presented, we can then make a choice about what feels true and what does not.

  2. The Times – 15 January 2019

    Nearly 50 school children a day age 4 – 7 are being suspended from school for attacking their teacher, according to government figures.

    The latest data from the Department for Education showed that the number of incidents had more than doubled in 4 years.

    In 2012 – 2013 the number was 4,210
    In 2016 – 2017 8,845 instances

    130 infants have been excluded.

    Teachers’ unions say that a squeeze on school budgets has led to some cuts to extra support for children with special educational needs, meaning more have had to be suspended or expelled.

    It used to be school suspensions would only be heard of in secondary schools. That alone was concerning but now in primary school and children under the age of 7.

    This is very shocking.

    What are our children struggling with?

    Why do we have more children with special education needs?

    I have noticed over the last few years, increasing amounts of children being diagnosed with ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder.

    What is behind this and how does it occur?

    Is medication the answer or is there another way for us to be with our children to understand the root cause?

    As adults is it dependent on us to get our act together and truly take care of ourselves, so that we can offer our children the true support that they need?

    Is it possible as Simple Living Global are presenting that there is Another Way?

  3. This an enormous topic and your blog speaks the truth about screen time and how it effects us.

    I remember my brother and I playing endless consol games or watching tv when growing up.

    We were always being told to sit back from the screen as our faces were nearly pressed up against it. We were glued to it. We were always being shouted at to come to dinner but we didn’t want to pull ourselves away from the screen.

    You would only have needed to have watched us for five minutes to see the effects of screen time on us. We would argue, we would imitate the physical fighting in the games, we hated having to stop playing the games.

    This blog highlights something very key- that we don’t need the research to prove anything. We need only watch for 5 or so minutes to see how screen time effects children and see the impact on their behaviour afterwards.

    Unfortunately in schools, the zombie state that children go into when they watch the screen is often seen as a focused state of being. But what are they being hooked into and how does that effect their connection to themselves?

    When I watched films that carried me away into a different world via music, emotions, spectacular imagery and effects etc., then I was effected during and after the film. I lost my connection to myself and absorbed the emotions of the film.

    The discussion around screen time is all about our connection or lack thereof, and crucially about the void that we feel and want to fill up.

    I can relate to feeling a void that is talked about in this blog, and desperately wanting not to feel it.
    I still have unsupportive behaviours in my bag for dealing with that void.

    I have been choosing the things that actually make me feel good in my body and this is supporting my connection. I know that I still have areas in life that I perceive myself as being ill equipped to deal with.
    What has been crucial is to build a foundation where I feel solid enough to not feel so rocked. This has involved paying more and more attention to my sleep and knowing that this is absolutely key to my well being, feeling balanced and connected rather than disconnected.

    I noticed the other night I still do things to sabotage my sleep.

    Whenever I feel life is challenging, I ask myself ‘how is my sleep, do I feel deeply rested and settled because my sleep is on top form?’
    Everything comes back to that for me at the moment.

    Our relationship with screen time is all about what we are avoiding feeling in ourselves.
    Is this why we are avoiding common sense observation and truthful talking as presented here?

  4. Thank you for this incredibly powerful blog.

    So much of the content in this blog has alarmed me but I would like to comment on one passage in particular that has leapt out at me.

    In the section headed ‘Screen Time May Harm Toddlers’, the author includes an extract from a Canadian study: “Letting a toddler spend lots of time using screens may delay their development of skills such as language and sociability”.

    This sentence really struck me because I know a three year old child who has being taken to see educational psychologists for two reasons: the child is unable to speak and also does not engage, relate or interact with other children at all.

    I was talking to the father of this child after they had visited an educational psychologist. He freely admitted to me that the psychologist had told him and his wife that their excessive and long term habit of using iPads and the television to keep the child occupied, and effectively babysit the child, was the major reason behind the child’s delayed language development and inability to relate to other children.

    1. Thank you for sharing this ‘real life’ stuff , which makes total sense to me.

      When we have real people telling us real stories and we join the dots, we get to feel that this is not just researchers doing what they do, but it is happening under our nose – on our watch, so to speak.

      We may not know this particular child that Raja mentions in his comment but we know he does and somehow it makes the whole thing more real – more alive so to speak.

      No longer is it words on a screen or some scientist at the other end of the world, telling us something.

      In the past there would have been no need for Educational Psychologists as we did not have the world of tech up and running as we do now.

      The psychologist mentioned obviously did not mince their words and said it as it is so the parents could feel the consequences of their choices in how they are raising a young child.

      So without blame and judgement – why is this happening?

      Where is the manual, the start up kit on how to raise babies and toddlers from day dot and why is this not a pre-requisite to having children?

      Have we ever stopped to think beyond the ‘happy family’ images that our mind is bombarded with, of what the whole thing of raising children is about?

      Do we need to re-consider ALL education and bring in teaching at all ages, so we can continue to learn more about what is required to live life without all these issues that we have not signed up for?

      Back to this story – what if this couple were given this blog to read and then other blogs on this website like Youth, Social Media, Internet, TV to gain some insight and ponder on all the questions presented – would that be real support?

      I have seen first hand eye movements and body movements whilst children have been on screen time on iPads and TV – it told me clearly SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT

      We have a whole new generation living and feeding off screen time and these are going to be our future adult population.

      Our world is currently in a 911 so can we imagine younger children and adolescents getting even more illness and disease because we have mental health issues at age 3 – something our ancestors could never have imagined could happen.

      Back to what Raja shares in the final part of his comment –
      If a long term habit of a very young child using iPads and TV has led to delayed language and inability to relate to other children – what is this telling us?

      Do we really need to wait for more and more research studies, or will common sense cut it and get us to make some serious changes?

      We all know from our own lived experience that screens seem to have something that really hooks us in and nothing changes unless we make the choice to move in another direction and press the button to shut the thing off.

      We all know kids see parents as role models – so is this where the Responsibility lies?

      They see us doing it and so for them this must be normal.

      My take is we need a licence to have children and to get that licence we need real education, so we know what it truly means to raise a child in this world and the enormous RESPONSIBILITY that comes with.

  5. CNN – 18 February 2019

    https://edition-m.cnn.com/2019/02/18/health/kids-screen-time-tv-study/index.html

    Study published by JAMA Pediatrics on Monday 18th February found that screen time has more than doubled for children under the age of 2 since 1997.

    Screen time refers to

    TV time
    Video games
    Computers
    Cell phones
    Tablets
    Electronic readers
    Learning Devices and more

    Researchers looked at data from 1997 – 2014 and found that:

    1997 – screen time for under 2’s – 1.32 hours per day

    2014 – 3.05 hours per day

    TV represented the majority of the screen time

    ‘Excessive screen time early in life has been associated with cognitive, language and social and emotional delays, probably because screen time decreases the time kids spend interacting with parents. Too much screen time has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and impaired sleep in kids.”

    This was why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended avoiding screen time altogether in children under 18 months, watching only high quality programming and co-viewing between 18 months and 2 years and limiting screen time to 1 hour a day for kids aged 2 – 5.

    What is classed as high quality programming?

    Is it possible that ‘high quality’ is not the same as ‘true quality’ and by that I mean programmes that are made by people to raise awareness about who we truly are and are made by people who are not harming or abusing themselves or others in anyway?

    I have heard parents talk about how their children become monsters when they come off the screen and I remember one mother sharing that her primary school age child had taken a knife to attack her after a fit of rage related to screen time.

    A father told me this week that his daughters are praised by his brother for being quiet and he gave the example that they only need a screen and that is it.

    What are we really saying when we applaud this?

    Are we actually advocating suppression of our children through confirming that screen = good as it means quiet?

    Is there a responsibility needed as adults to address and asses our own screen time so that we can be honest with ourselves as to how we are using our devices and why?

    Would it then support our children to see real role models, those that are not addicted to screen time and are willing and available to truly connect with them?

    Would this address the frustrated, hungry tired child and the frustrated, hungry tired parent syndrome that Dr. Wendy Sue Swan, a GP and chief of digital innovation at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital says is the reason why parents give their children screens?

    Is there a simple way to deal with this seemingly complex issue?

    Is it possible that the power is in our hands to stop this situation escalating further?

  6. ITV News – 25 February 2019

    Children in England will be taught new compulsory lessons on relationships, keeping safe on the Internet and looking after their own mental health.

    Primary school children will be taught relationships education and secondary school will receive relationships and sex education.

    All children of all ages will receive health education.

    Pupils will learn the link between physical and mental health. The lessons will focus on the importance of getting enough sleep, the dangers of sexting and spotting anxiety in their friends.

    Also on the agenda is age-appropriate online safety, which includes what to do if they come across things they are uncomfortable with, the importance of respect for others even when posting anonymously and the risks of talking to people on the internet that they do not know in real life.

    Teaching primary school children that mental wellbeing is a normal part of daily life and why simple self-care is important. In addition, they will be taught about nutrition, staying active and the early signs of physical illness. This will support them to understand how there is a link between mental and physical health.

    Secondary schools will build on what has been learnt at primary school in the hope that they can spot the signs of common mental illnesses like anxiety and depression in themselves or others.

    Young people will learn how to discuss their emotions accurately and sensitively, the impact of drugs and alcohol on physical and mental health and how to access professional help.

    Also on the agenda is online safety topics, including the serious risks of sharing private photos, the impact of viewing explicit or harmfull content and how to report it and get support.

    The new content will be added to the existing computing curriculum, which gives pupils a grounding in how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully and securely.

    There is more – secondary school pupils will also be taught about FGM – female genital mutilation with the focus on awareness, the availability of support networks and informing them that this practice is illegal.

    The Department of Education is saying students aged 11 and older should be taught other forms of honour-based abuse as well as grooming, forced marriage and domestic abuse as part of a strengthened curriculum.

    Teachers will have to take lessons on online safety topics.
    Schools will be left to decide exactly how they teach the new content.

    Firstly, not everyone is in agreement with this new proposal the government plans to roll out.
    Currently a petition has been signed over 100,000 times and this means it will be debated in Parliament.
    It is related to giving parents the right to opt their child out of Relations and Sex Education.

    Whatever our opinion or our view is – could we consider how is this going to work?

    Is this a tall order for our currently over-worked exhausted teachers?

    Have we really asked them on the ground – those who will be doing this teaching how their current mental and physical state of health and wellbeing are?

    Can teachers suddenly become masters and experts in the field of health and wellbeing because they attend courses that are topical and just need to be taught?

    Are policymakers looking at the bigger picture or is this a solution to an ever growing problem that our nation is facing with children’s mental health and wellbeing.

    We only have to read this blog which gives us a snapshot of what is really going on.

    With due respect – could it be possible that teachers will not have the background, depth and knowledge that most secondary school kids have when it comes to the Internet and what goes on there?

    So where do we start and how are we going to really and truly turn the tides, once and for all?

    Simple Living Global are world leaders when it comes to health and wellbeing and this website is confirmation of that. Non-stop delivery of weekly blogs that are educational, informative and full of wisdom for any reader to apply if they choose.

    What if the real game changer is that we need those who live what they are teaching for it to work?

    That means those who present on sleep for example, must themselves be masters or experts of sleep.
    They need to show the pupils they are not talking from knowledge or attended a crash course on the importance of sleep but are actually living in a way that ensures their sleep quality is maintained consistently. This would allow them to speak from a body that lives it – in other words walk the talk.

    If we continue to teach and preach to our kids of what is good for their health and what is not, surely we need to be living examples.
    Why would any child or adolescent take note if they know inside themselves that what we are asking them to do is something we are not prepared to live and do for ourselves, in our own life.

    It makes sense for any government to take note of what is being presented in this comment and on this website as there is another way to ensure we bring real change to the younger generations who will one day become our adult population.

    There is work to be done and Simple Living Global are on the front foot when it comes to delivering what is needed and bringing awareness to our world.

  7. Science Alert – 11 April 2019

    United States – child suicidal behaviour is now a public health crisis and it is affecting some of the youngest people in the country.

    Children and teenagers visiting the emergency department for suicidal behaviour has almost doubled and the median age is 13.

    Researchers collected data by CDC and analysed over 30,000 visits to emergency departments for children age 5 to 18. The study was from 2007 to 2015.

    80% increase in visits to emergency department for suicide attempts.

    This is the second analysis in a row to show an alarming increase and the problem is rising.

    Of all the hospital visits recorded for suicidal behaviour, half were young children aged 5 to 11.

    The authors say that the exact reason for this trend remains unclear which makes the crisis even harder to tackle.

    Past research indicates that children who die by suicide are more likely to report to have experienced mental health disorders and tense relationships with family and friends.

    The problem is made worse by severe lack of children and adolescent psychiatrists and the rise of cyber-bullying.

    So here we have the highlights of a new study and when did it become a public health crisis?

    WHY are many of us around the world not aware of the real state of children’s mental health?

    If we are clear that cyber bullying plays a part and is a direct link to the rise in child suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts – do we need to be asking more questions?

    How do we get on the front foot with a topic like child suicide?
    How are we parenting and what type of role models have we become?

    WHY is cyber-bullying so widely accepted without any real changes happening?

    How can we stamp out the harm caused to others with this type of online behaviour?

    What is missing in our children’s lives that gives rise to these types of thoughts?

    Are we ready as a world to ask some serious questions because we all know – SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT?

  8. This blog is asking for a new standard.

    What if someone working with children to support children’s well-being, focused on mastering their own sleep first for example?

    Would that be too simple? I know the impact would be huge because I know from my own experience what sleep does for me.

    I know that looking at sleep includes looking at how we are living in all aspects of our life. So it is never a case of looking at sleep in isolation.

    I have tweaked and changed what I do before bed of course, but equally I am calling into question how I am during the day. So the topic of sleep casts a wide net over the person’s entire life and choices.

    In my experience, I find it hard to be inspired by someone who doesn’t live what they are advising me about.

    By contrast, when I have been to presentations or spoken with someone who knows what they are talking about inside-out, because for them it is like breathing, then I am inspired.

    The author of this blog is a living example of someone who lives what they talk about.

  9. I remember as a kid in 1977, we only had three tv channels, a black and white tv screen that my dad was renting. Every Tuesday, we had a western movie on or something else and I always was very excited about it.

    I could also remember the sadness I could feel if I was told to go to bed early by my parents, possibly because I didn’t get a good mark at school. I felt rejected, left behind, unwanted or not part of the family. I felt the lack of being together as a family.

    Because we were gathering all in front of a tv screen, for me, it was a form of intimacy. But if we had all gone to bed early then I wouldn’t have had the feeling of being left.
    So I would say that the tv in the family could be partly responsible for affecting connection between family.

    Also, coming back from school, we had children’s program at 4 or 5pm and I was glued to the screen almost until dinner time. I was addicted to cartoons and all the rest. It was a way to escape, a reward from the day.

    As a result, I wouldn’t do my homework, and because I was daydreaming a lot to escape whatever was going on inside me, my results at school got seriously affected.

    There was a serious lack of playfulness at school and I could feel the tension from the teacher who was shouting at us if we didn’t know our lessons from the day before. I remember hiding under the table so I wouldn’t get picked to recite what we had learned in front of all the class. Those were scary moments.

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