Mental health issues amongst our young people are rife at the moment, with bullying, exam pressures, social media and school anxiety a huge problem. According to NHS Digital, in 2017, 12.8% of children and young people aged 5-19, have at least one mental disorder. This was an increase from 10% in 2004. This change was largely driven by an increase in emotional disorders (including anxiety and depression), which for 5-15-year-olds rose from 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017.
I had the great pleasure to meet with a parent recently, who’s supporting her child with a bullying problem. The school have been really supportive and she’s enlisted the support of The Diana Award, set-up by Princess Diana, and has trained to be an anti-bullying ambassador to take the message to local schools.
We spent time also discussing the power of social media to affect children and their self-esteem. And given how connected our children our, it’s also incredibly difficult to get away from their bullies online too. I also spoke with a friend who told me her daughter was being targeted by a ‘friend’ on social media with some really vicious posts. I do think it is so much harder for our kids that it was for us, when typically the bullying stopped at the school gate.
At Tutor My Kids, we work with many students in the Cambridge and Ely area whose mental health is preventing them from attending mainstream school lessons and support them with one-to-one lessons either in school or in their home. Our amazing tutors in Cambridge and Ely have the skills to support them with their academic work and have the pastoral skills to support them with their self-esteem too. Usually, this is provided and funded by schools but sometimes privately by parents.
Mental health is a hugely complex area with few obvious solutions. But do talk to your children, the school and get support sooner rather than later.