The issue of mental health awareness, advocacy, finding support and resolution cannot be over emphasized. The children alliance network is a health support organisation registered in England and Wales, with the aim of building partnerships and strengthening links with agencies and organisations that are invested in promoting children’s well-being, especially emotional and mental health.
Adverse childhood experiences are increasingly recognized as a significant cause of the rising prevalence in mental illness and disorders in children, with the increasing need for prevention by addressing precipitating and perpetuating factors as early as possible. Their challenges are further compounded by the adults they may look up to not having answers to tormenting questions, worsening often unrecognised emotional distress in children till it develops into complex behavioural and emotional symptoms.
This has evidently resulted in the increase prevalence of mental illness and suicide in children and young people, with overwhelming demands on health, social and other pertinent services whose resources are reported to be fast dwindling.
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.Kessler,R. (2010)
My experience, as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, working for over two decades with children and young people, has made me increasingly aware of the impact of adverse childhood experiences on physical and mental health, the limited resources of health and social services and the need to address emotional stressors at an early phase.
Prevention of complications, which may sometimes be fatal physically or mentally, requires everyone to HELP: health care professionals, schools, religious organizations, community groups etc, so that children and young people may access help and appropriate support, within their local communities, be empowered in coping with inevitable life challenges, build socio-emotional resilience, be equipped to face their future positively and ultimately fulfill their unique potential.
The children alliance network, is an opportunity for the various arms of the global community to respond in a creative solution based way, and equip children and young people with the tools needed in coping with the impact of adverse life events, as well as drawing on the power of peer to peer support. As we work together and pool resources, we CAN abate the storms threatening children’s lives and their future.
We CAN build stronger links to a healthier and happier future for our children and young people, pull down barriers to our young ones attaining their true potential and lots more opportunities if we pool together, and we CAN.