This month the Guardian has highlighted how the Department for Education figures show a 25% rise in children with mental health problems since the start of the pandemic.
There were 77,390 children who had been assessed as having a mental health need by councils on 31 March 2021, an increase of 25% on the 61,830 seen two years earlier, according to statistics from the Department for Education.
This comes as no surprise given all the extra stresses and strains from the pandemic. Children are faced with increased stressors around social media as well as school based worries resulting from home schooling and the more typical worries. There is a lot of fear for young people which is sometimes covered over with bravado, that everything is ‘fine’ and they are coping, when internally they are suffering.
Offering a non-judgmental, empathic ear is crucial at this time - don’t forget, if your teenager pushes you away; they still need you around, they may just be finding it hard to stay connected, but try to be patient and find activities you can do together, no matter how small.
I am a child psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist, covering Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.