The Quiet One: Children’s Mental Health Week

Did you know, 10% of children and young people aged 5-16 years have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem?

3 children in every classroom have a mental health problem.

Early intervention is so important to get these mental illnesses under control, however in latest studies they show that 70% of children experiencing problems do not receive early intervention.

But why?

50% of mental health problems are established by age 14, and 75% by age 24.

The earlier we detect something is wrong, the quicker we can work to resolve issues resulting in a better quality of life for that child.

 

MY STORY

From since I can remember I was labelled ‘the quiet one’ and I hated it. The thing is, I really wasn’t very quiet at all. I would notoriously have my parents running around after me at 4am when I was a baby, and when my younger sister came along so did my authoritative voice.

When we watch back family videos I would always be singing, dancing and talking to the camera with complete confidence. I had the best childhood I could have asked for and I never had a reason to feel inadequate or like I didn’t have a voice.

It was around other people where I would fall quiet.

Even close family friends and cousins I would fall to the back of the group; preferring to be a listener than a leader.

I would cry at the school gates and not want to leave my mum. My school reports up until the end of secondary school would always state I never put my hand up or never contribute to lessons. Why was it such a bad thing to just want to listen and learn?

I grew up feeling like it was abnormal or bad to be quiet, and I would feel embarrassed and angry when people would use it as a joke.

I was a shy girl which is completely normal, however I was treated like I should have been something else. Throughout school the more popular girls would always be the loud, outspoken type, and I guess it made me feel inadequate.

I will never know if I had social anxiety or if I was just incredibly shy, however I feel passionate about educating people that we are all different and if someone is painfully shy it doesn’t make them weird. Don’t tell them to speak up. Don’t point it out all the time.

The last thing you should do to a child is make them feel like they are different or they are ‘wired wrong.’

We should be telling children it is ok to be themselves.

Where can you get more information and support? Below I have listed numerous charities or websites where you can get further help or advice if you are worried about a child:

Young Minds

NHS

Trigger Press

Children’s Mental Health Week

 

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