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Who knows? Governments used to survey the prevalence of children’s mental health issues every five years, [http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmhealth/342/34202.htm but this ended in 2004]. Imagine publishing no figures since 2004 on, say, childhood cancer, and you begin to understand the extent to which successive governments have chosen to avoid this issue. If aspirational pressure is not enhancing our well-being but damaging it, those in power don’t want to know.
But there are hints. Mental health beds for children in England [http://www.england.nhs.uk/2014/07/10/camhs-report/ increased by 50%] between 1999 and 2014*2014†, but still failed to meet demand. Children suffering mental health crises are being dumped in adult wards or [http://www.crae.org.uk/media/75126/SOCR_2014_HEALTH.pdf even left in police cells] because of the lack of provision (put yourself in their position and imagine the impact).
The number of children admitted to hospital because of self-harm [http://news.cision.com/youngminds/r/100-000-children-and-young-people-could-be-hospitalised-due-to-self-harm-by-2020-warns-youngminds,c9194954has risen by 68% in 10 years], while young patients with eating disorders have [http://www.youngminds.org.uk/news/blog/2777_large_rise_in_uk_admissions_for_teenage_eating_disorders almost doubled in three years]. Without good data, we don’t have a clear picture of what the causes might be, but it’s worth noting that in the past year, [http://www.youngminds.org.uk/news/blog/2750_english_children_facing_low_self-esteem_and_exam_stress_battles according to the charity YoungMinds], the number of children receiving counselling for exam stress has tripled.
Finish your homework, pass your exams, spend your twenties avoiding daylight, and you too could live like the elite. But who in their right mind would want to?
*From †From 844 in 1999 to 1264 in January 2014. When this was found to be insufficient, another 50 beds were announced.
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