The advent of COVID-19 has introduced a worldwide mental health struggle that is, unfortunately, age indiscriminate. In the UK, 75% of children and adolescents are not receiving the help they need for their mental health struggles. Good mental health is just as important to childhood development as physical health, so it is vital we address the gap between treatment and child and adolescent mental health challenges.
Even prior to COVID-19, children and adolescents struggled to receive proper care. Many were turned away completely, while those who were successfully admitted into treatment had to wait, on average, 53 days before ever accessing care. The first step in correcting this oversight is to identify solutions to the issue. Although the road to proper management of mental illness can be a long and convoluted one, having a clear plan in mind before tackling such a large issue allows one to be able to focus on long-term goals.
Child and adolescent mental health requires continued parental support and an increase in awareness among both mental health professionals and the general public that children and adolescents' mental health struggles are equally as important as those of adults. We feel that this emphasis is even more important during the unprecedented times of COVID-19. Everyone has experienced an uptick in stress, isolation, and other struggles, but even in the midst of this, we cannot forget about the mental wellbeing of our children.
In episode 9 of SilverCloud Health’s podcast series CBTALKS, we address this exact concern. SilverCloud Health experts speak with Lynsey Eland, a Service Manager and Trainer at Mind in the Carlisle and Eden area. Mind is an independent and self-funded mental health charity that works to empower and support those with mental health issues.
In the podcast, Lynsey discusses both the importance of recognizing mental health struggles in the youth population and extensive solutions to this issue. She and Dr. Lloyd Humphreys comprehensively speak about the scope of digital mental health services for children and young people. They also emphasise the importance of parental involvement and support. Lynsey provides a hopeful perspective on a critical issue, offering assurance and integral steps for best supporting the mental health and wellbeing of youth moving forward.
To learn more about addressing, understanding, and supporting youth mental health during COVID-19, you can listen to the SilverCloud Health podcast below.