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Become mental health aware By Raphael Kelvin, Clinical Lead, MindEd

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There’s no doubt about it – adults are much more mental health aware than ever before. However, what is clear, the confidence needed to identify someone with a mental health condition is still lacking. A recent survey of just over 2000 adults has confirmed just that.

The survey, commissioned by MindEd, a Consortium of mental health experts, took place earlier this month and found that over a third (38%) of adults would not know how to spot a child or a young person with a mental health issue. And for those that did, just over half (51%) said they would be worried about approaching the issue with the child, or the child’s parent, in case they were mistaken.

We already know that half of lifetime mental illnesses are apparent by the age of 14, with three-quarters in place by the age of 21, yet 75% of young people go completely un-treated. This puts them at increased risk of alcohol and drug misuse, self-harm, neglect and in extreme cases, suicide.

So to help ensure young people get the help they need, the MindEd Consortium launched a brand new website – ‘MindEd’ – which contains quality assured advice and information on child and adolescent mental health. Its aim – to give any adult who works with young people the skills to identify a child at risk of a mental health condition early, the confidence to act on their concern and signpost them to the services that can help.

Funded by the Department of Health, MindEd is free to access and provides a considerable suite of bite-size e-learning packages, individually tailored to each audience group – teachers and sports coaches, healthcare professionals, police and judiciary staff, social workers and many more.

With well over 20 different mental health conditions with many different signs and symptoms, we’re not saying adults need to become doctors. But if every professional and volunteer used MindEd to become more mental health aware,  we could potentially prevent thousands of children falling through the gaps and missing out on much needed strength building, care and support when needed.

If you’re interested in MindEd and you think people in your organisation might be too, contact the MindEd team.  They will be able to give you the latest information and some useful tools, including a link to the new MindEd film, that are available to help you share information about MindEd and encourage your colleagues to start using it.

www.minded.org.uk

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