Healthwatch Sutton has released its latest report which turns a spotlight on the borough’s children and young persons mental health.
It is a survey completed by over 5000 young people aged 11-18, which looks at their mental health needs.
You can find the report at http://www.healthwatchsutton.org.uk/children-and-young-peoples-mental-health
It found that LGBT young people are four times more likely to have suicidal thoughts compared to those who identified as heterosexual.
On average 26% of students stated that they had experienced issues relating to body image or their appearance. ‘I don’t speak out about my problems. I try to starve myself because I hate the way my body looks’ stated one respondent.
The report also shows that 6% of young people had experienced self-harm. One said ‘I’m slowly getting over self-harm, but it has been very upsetting and generally quite difficult. It has been hard to cover it up.’
A decline in wellbeing was also shown the more hours that they spent looking at a screen.
Forty percent of students said that they had sleep problems, and analysis showed that there was a direct correlation between improved wellbeing and the more sleep young people were able to get.
Some respondents gave philosophical responses about their mental wellbeing. One commented ‘We are all lost in the fabric of time and space and we will all be forgotten when the sun explodes in 4.5 billion years’
Commenting on its publication, Healthwatch Sutton Chair David Williams said: “This report should be used as the main driver for developing further support services to young people.’
‘This fantastic sources of intelligence gives us the ability to be able to ensure that the £1.8m received for the government’s Trailblazer funding is directed to those that most need it’.