Mental Health at Global Crisis Levels – Time to Reach Out.
My work over the years has increasingly involved working with mental health challenges and issues. Right now in the UK as you are reading this, there are 10,000 children under 10 with diagnosed severe depression. Self harm has gone up by 68% in the last 10 years. (Child andAdolescent Mental Health Survey ) Half of all mental health illnesses are laid down before the age of 14, and waiting lists for CAMHS are a year to 18 months at least. PRU units are full . 60% of looked after children ( children in care ) have some form of emotional anxiety or mental health illness.
Children and young people with an existing condition or different ability such as autism or ADHD are 2-6x more likely to develop a mental health illness or issue, as I know only too well from the journey with my own son … terrifying and heartbreaking times I would not wish on anybody. Young people with PMLD are 50% more at risk of developing an additional mental health issue.
In all of this, boys are proven to suffer twice as much as girls and yet they are often too embarrassed to discuss it, let alone approach anyone for help…
So I am absolutely honoured to be approached by a very honest,courageous and wonderful man named Colin Sortwell who with the support of his incredible wife and son following a breakdown, set up a blog/website about his experiences called www.monkeyonmyback.org.uk so that he could help and inspire others. I am extremely proud to share this on my website and hope that it will help so many …..
Here is what Colin has to say :
“Hello,my name is Colin,Im a 50 something man who has at times suffered with my mental health. It seems so easy to say it now but you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to admit I had a problem and to seek help. Like a typical teenager & then man I bottled things up for years and years,always managing to get by until things got so bad that my depression and anxiety left me hospitalised for a short while. Moving forward a few years I had another bad patch that involved my career and left me with horrendous anxiety. I ended up having to resign from my position as that was clearly making me very ill indeed.
At this time I was seeing both my GP and an awesome counsellor who helped me to talk through my problems., and slowly but surely I began to make sense of it all. My counsellor and my amazing wife encouraged me to write all my issues down as a way of offloading them, and sort of draw a line under them if you will. So I decided to create a website that not only would help me offload but hopefully would help anyone else that might be feeling the same way, and that is how www.monkeyonmyback.org.uk was born. I’ve always called that voice inside my head that tells me I’m not good enough,or can’t do things, the Monkey.
Once I had started writing, it was like the floodgates had opened , so much stuff came out of me that I couldn’t believe where it had all come from. But, and here’s the important bit, the feeling of relief that I felt was absolutely overwhelming. The point I’m trying to make is that it doesn’t matter whether you talk to someone about your issues or if you write them down on paper, create a blog ,write a song etc. There is ALWAYS someone who will listen without judging you and will allow you to get rid of those unwanted,negative thoughts that are causing you problems.
Please don’t suffer in silence!
C x ”
I am also thrilled to share that I have now trained Colin’s wife Sheila in Indian Head Massage for Special Needs and she has taken this therapy back to Northern Ireland. With the knowledge and techniques they now have between them, I am so happy that they will be able to touch so many lives and make a difference. Which is ultimately what we are all here to do.
Trackback from your site.