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The Bee-lieve Foundation

Mental Health Week has highlighted the worrying rise of cases of children and young people suffering with mental health problems. The NHS website notes that over the past 6 years there has been a serious incline in mental health problems within young people in the UK. As the graph shows below, for both 7- to 16-year-olds and 17- to 19-year-olds, mental health problems have increased drastically from 2017 to 2022. This is a worrying increase, and something that is becoming a serious issue for government institutions. A record 1.4 million children sort help for their mental health last year, and there is only so much the NHS can do. The NHS aims “for all non-urgent referrals to be assessed within six weeks, with treatment offered within 18 weeks. Young people with psychosis should be seen within two weeks, and those with eating disorders within four weeks (24 hours if an emergency or one week if urgent)” (Parents' Guide to CAMHS | Guide for Parents | YoungMinds). CAMHS is a brilliant free service, but sometimes the wait for treatment can be long and this can put children off from undertaking the course of support that the NHS offer. Covid-19 had a huge impact on the CAMHS service and the wait for children to be seen, so the importance on providing help to these kids is more vital than ever.

Children’s mental health and education

Children’s mental health can affect many aspects of their life, school being one of them. A child’s education is vital to their growth and development; however, mental health problems can get in the way of a child’s attitude towards school. It is sad to see so many children missing school because of their struggles with mental health, but school can be an overstimulating environment for some children and missed days are sometimes needed. Any help that they can receive can reduce the number of days that they don’t attend school and provide them with the skills that they need in order to feel comfortable in an educational setting. According to the NHS website, help or advice was sought for 3 in 4 (76.4%) 7- to 16-year-olds with a parent concerned for their mental health, and by 1 in 2 (53.2%) 17 to 23 year olds concerned about their mental health in 2021. (Part 4: Services and support - NHS Digital).

Recent statistics show that the recent causes for the decline in children’s mental health include:

  •        The cost-of-living crisis

  •        Bullying and cyber-bullying

  •        Covid-19 impacts

  •        Social media and friendships

  •        Struggles with home life

  •        Worries for the future

There are many reasons why children are struggling with their mental health, and the above list consists of only a few examples. But how can you help?

Speaking to your child about their mental health is very important, even if they aren’t necessarily struggling. It can be a sensitive topic, but providing a safe space for any child to talk about their emotions and struggles is extremely beneficial to any child’s development. Creating that safe space for a child to talk to an adult is the first step, but getting professional help will provide the necessary skills for a child to develop and grow through their struggles.

You can contact your local GP about scheduling an appointment. They will help you to understand what it is that your child is going through and offer a multitude of ways to access counselling or other help. For severe cases, your child will be offered help from CAMHS. As stated previously, the wait for CAMHS can be long, so there are other ways to access help while your child is waiting to be seen. You can seek these services through the NHS website (NHS talking therapies - NHS (www.nhs.uk)).If your child does not want to go through the NHS and wants to be seen quicker and perhaps within school hours, The Matthew Hackney Foundation is a brilliant way for your child to get professional counselling the way they want.

It is with this that we are extremely proud to announce that The Matthew Hackney Foundation has recently partnered with the Bee-lieve Foundation. This is an extremely exciting venture, and we are thrilled to work with them going forward.

The Bee-lieve Foundation, established in 2020, is a brilliant charity based UK wide. They are dedicated to helping young people and their families with the challenges that come with the trauma of mental health issues. These include anxiety, depression, and attachment disorders, to name a few. They achieve this through providing training for learning support assistants, teachers, parents, and carers. This will enable intervention programmes within schools which will support children and young people who struggle with their mental health. In addition to this, the Bee-lieve Foundation also provide drop-in sessions for parents. These sessions allow parents to talk to each other about similar challenges that they face at home. Bee-lieve also provide amazing activities and days out which encourage a wide range of outdoor activities including sports and gardening, as well as arts and crafts and performing arts. The Bee-lieve Foundation have specifically designed their own whole-school PSHE programme called Connect. Connect is a personal weekly wellbeing programme for school children. It teaches young people skills that promote emotional wellbeing. Working with Bee-lieve will enable more intervention programmes going forward.

Much like The Matthew Hackney Foundation, Bee-lieve pride themselves in supporting young people across Surrey. We share the vision of improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing, enabling them to live a happy and fulfilling life. Not only do we both want to spread awareness of young people’s mental health, but we also want to make a change and remove the stigma that revolves around mental health issues. Through providing help and guidance about young people’s mental health, we believe that we can help to put an end to these stigmas.   

There are many avenues that you can take to get mental health advice and help. You can seek help through a school program, friends or family, health services (whether private or NHS), and online or telephone support. However, it is important to spread the word of the support that the Bee-lieve Foundation and The Matthew Hackney Foundation provide. According to The Children’s Society (Children's Mental Health Statistics | The Children's Society (childrenssociety.org.uk)) more than two thirds of young people would prefer to be able to access mental health support without going through their GP. This is why The Matthew Hackney Foundation and Bee-lieve are more important than ever. Our wonderful counsellors are personable, friendly, and easy to talk to. However, counselling isn’t for everyone, and Bee-lieve provide a wonderful training for teachers and parents both within schools and in everyday life. There is no set way to help a child in need, but it is crucial that we provide the children in our lives with the support that they need. The support that a child gets can help them to come to terms with how they are feeling and place them in a position where they can speak to a trusted adult.

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