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)
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?
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)
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)
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)
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)|
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
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
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.
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 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.
Definition of a minor child varies depending on the province (12)
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)
Suicide – 2nd leading cause of death under 18’s
One of the highest teenage suicide rates
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
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 (15)
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
No guidelines set (15)
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.
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)
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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
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
Check International Association for Suicide Prevention Resources on Crisis Centers
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(3) (n.d.). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
(4) (n.d.). What is a Child? NSPCC. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
(5) (n.d.). Age of Majority. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
(6) (n.d.).The Convention on the Rights of the Child. UNICEF. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
(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
(8) (2017). Number of Children & Adolescents Taking Psychiatric Drugs in the U.S. CCHR International. Retrieved February 4, 2019 from
(9) (2016). Suicide. NIMH. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
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(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/
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(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
(19) Dalton, J. (2018, July 21). Tens of Thousands of Children Prescribed ‘Potentially Harmful’ Antidepressants. Independent. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
(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
(21) Siddique. H. (2018, December 5). One in 10 Children ‘Often Lonely’, According to ONS Figures. The Guardian. Retrieved February 5, 2019 from
(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
(23) Crawford A. (2019, January 22). Instagram ‘Helped Kill My Daughter’. BBC News. Retrieved January 28, 2019 from
(24) (n.d). Our Country. The Government of the Republic of Nauru. Retrieved February 3, 2019 from
(25) Harrison, V. (2018, September 1). Nauru Refugees: The Island Where Children Have Given Up on Life. BBC News. Retrieved February 6, 2019 from
(26) Pressly, L. (2017, October 26). Resignation Syndrome: Sweden’s Mystery Illness. BBC News. Retrieved February 3, 2019 from
(27) (n.d). Stats and Facts. Beyond Blue. Retrieved February 3, 2019 from