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Juniors Varsity: What’s the problem?

It’s not, and we know a lot of people will agree. However…

some do think if mental or emotional health isn’t a problem (on the surface) in their home then it doesn’t apply to them to be concerned. ‘Don’t meet trouble half way’, and all that.

The reality is that mental health is as important as physical health- to everyone. Any implications to either will have a telling effect on your day to day.

This isn’t something that has just appeared – it has always been a concern, only now the global population has become more aware and are applying a vast amount of services to help people. These services are incredible as the workload involved in order to re route a default mode of emotional responses and coping strategies as you get older can be a profoundly long road. We know, we see it a lot.  Consider this…

Wouldn’t it be better if in the early years we equipped children with the tools enabling them to identify issues?


*The statistics about the increasing need to address children and young people’s mental health speak for themselves:
• Approximately 850,000 children and young people have a clinically significant mental health problem
• 1 in 10 children 5-16 years, or 3 in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem. This doubled between the 1980s and mid 2000s
• The Government’s measure of children’s wellbeing found that almost 1 in 4 showed some evidence of mental ill health (including anxiety and depression).
• 1 in 3 diagnosed mental health conditions in adulthood relate directly to adverse childhood experiences that have subsequently impacted on their psychological development and wellbeing.
• It is estimated that half of all mental health problems manifest before the age of 14 years, with 25% enduring mental health conditions being present by the age of 24 years. Yet less than half receive treatment at the time.
• There has been an average increase in referrals of 25% to targeted Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), with the range being between 20-70%.
• CAMHS are, on average, turning away nearly 25% of children referred to them for treatment .

• GPs are having to act outside of their knowledge and competence to support children’s mental health which is worrying as antidepressant use amongst children in UK is rising and recently it has been suggested that children have a doubled risk of aggression and suicide when taking one of the five most commonly prescribed antidepressants.

It’s scary isn’t it?

You see these teenagers were once little kids. These adults were once children too. Where were the methods to develop life long coping skills? Why is there a consistent emphasis in getting children up and out, speeding up school enrolments, pushed through a system, instead of focusing self discovery and emotional skills sets?

We have always focused on enabling children’s development of self regulation skills when it comes to emotional and mental health. We know there will always be trying times ahead for anyone: ‘feeling they are not good enough, peer/sibling comparison, homework, school work, exams, rewards, praise, getting a job, keeping a job, dealing with stress’ etc.

And we do our best to support them through this. This is why we designed Juniors Varsity. To emphasise the importance of children having a chance to build solid foundations in being able to identify solutions and overcome such challenges.

So we will ask again…why are academics considered more important than mental health?

Let’s Change the Future

*Statistics: young minds annual report 2016