The topic for my social action project is mental health, in particular, depression in young people, which can be a sensitive subject. Therefore extensive research is required in order to tackle the topic in a mature and accurate manner.
There is a lot of stigma around mental health, centred around it being not important and non-existent, despite the rising statistics, showing that rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years. People often belittle depression and mental health because it’s not as tangible and ‘life threatening’ as other illnesses such as cancer. However, depression can often lead to suicidal thoughts and statistics show that suicide is the leading cause of death in British men under 50 years of age.
Due to the stigma around mental health, mental health services receive very little money and are usually unable to see every young person in need of help. Sometimes a child will have to wait for as long as 6 months to be given professional help. Until the Government announced new funding recently, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) received less than 0.6 per cent of the total NHS budget.
More than half of all adults with mental health problems that were diagnosed in childhood. Due to underpaid mental health services and other factors, less than half were treated appropriately at the time.
The ultimate aim for my project is to promote awareness of the severity of depression and mental health. Hopefully, ensuring that upon seeing it, people will be more considerate to those living life with a mental health disorder. In addition to this, perhaps when people consider donating to a charity, they will consider mental health charities as much as others.