Did you know that 1 in 10 children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder?
That is as many as three children in every school classroom – quite a scary statistic. These health issues include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
In order to be able to help these children, it is important to recognise the warning signs of mental illness. The infographic below was created by Lorimer Fostering, a private fostering agency in Manchester.
As children in care are, sadly, more likely to experience mental health issues, they have seen and dealt with the symptoms first hand. This infographic is designed to explain some of the key warning signs that can appear with mental illness in children, to help their foster parents, and all people that work with or have children, recognise these a little easier and deal with them.
It can sometimes be easy to mistake children’s symptoms of mental illness for simple misbehaviour. It is difficult to compare their mood swings, behaviour and actions to their usual self.
Things that can help to improve children and young people’s mental health include:
– being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
– having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
– going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
– being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
– feeling loved and protected
The best thing that you can do for the child in this situation is to firstly, ask them about their feelings and behaviour, make them feel safe and protected and never ignore the warning signs.