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World Mental Health day is a chance for all organisations involved in the treatment and care of people suffering from mental illness to consider what more can be done, how best to reach the people who need help and how to deliver that help.

This year the theme is:

“Young people and mental health in a changing world”

It is a tough world for young people across the globe.  Many are battling daily for their human rights, civil liberties and basic levels of existence.

Our own children, teens and young adults are becoming increasingly affected by spending long hours on the internet, consumed by the pressures of social media sites and the myth that life has to be perfect to be enjoyed.

Suicide and substance abuse numbers are rising.  LGBTQ youth report feeling alone and persecuted for standing up for their beliefs and being true to themselves.

In schools and colleges there is huge emphasis on succeeding but very little education, still, for life skills and even less information available to them about serious mental illnesses, how they can occur or when and where to seek help.

This needs to change.

This year the Government will host the first ever global mental health summit hosted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The headlines are likely to be that :

A minister for suicide prevention has been appointed in England by the prime minister as the government hosts the first ever global mental health summit.  Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price to the new role will help tackle the stigma surrounding suicide.

More support in schools, bringing in new mental health support teams and offering help in measuring students' health, including their mental wellbeing.

The prime minister pledged £1.8m to the Samaritans so the charity can continue providing its free helpline for the next four years.

I am pleased to hear that this is happening but as a Mental Health Lawyer who sees first hand the pressures that the services are facing I wonder if it will really change the lives of those currently struggling with mental health issues or, indeed, make any difference at all to the next generation.

In the words of Elvis “A little less conversation, a bit more action please!” 

Melanie Lidstone-Land is Head of the Mental Health team at Swain & Co.  Call today for free legal advice on how we can help you or a family member - 02392 483322

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