Children’s Mental Health Services

Last weeks World Mental Health Day has highlighted shortcomings in mental health care both in UK and around the world.

Here in UK The Guardian has brought to attention the fact that services for children are falling far short of what should be there in a, “civilised” country.  This is not a new problem, indeed it is one that has been present for decades and despite some very good services run by dedicated people there just isn’t the money going into the services to meet the demand.

While some of this is down to a lack of political will, it is also down to every one of us who avoids talking about mental health issues to do with friends and family. Given the statistics about the prevalence of mental illness, there is likely not one of us who doesn’t have a close friend or family member with a mental health problem. Yet in comparison to physical health, it is rare for this to be talked about. Indeed, it was only last year that I learned of just how severe the problems of someone in my own extended family were from the affected person’s sister.

While I offer massage and aromatherapy for mental health both in my private practice and in a more structured setting, this is not widely available, some that I see, other practitioners would deem that they didn’t have the experience of this client group to work with them and on the whole they would be right to do so unless supervision were available from someone with relevant experience and of course a knowledge that the individual can get other help when needed.

One young person I see in a structured setting where they do get other help as well took three years to get help!  To me this is not acceptable but as long as we live in a world where these problems are a taboo subject politicians will not take this need seriously.