Monday, 5 January 2009

BBC News: Warning over youth mental health

Having read the article, and seen who has carried out the survey for the Prince's Trust i have a feeling i got this email and did the survey. In fact i'm pretty certain after having seen some of the statements from the survey when they featured the story on the Breakfast television news programme.

Personally i think these statements by people/charities/organisation saying "ABC need more XYZ" are pointlesswords. Its not news, at least not to those of us already in the situation, it's just stating the obvious.

The first part of the survey the quote:

"One in 10 youngsters questioned in a survey disagreed that "life was really worth living". "

Well i think we can guess which way i answered on that one!

"Chief executive Martina Milburn said: "Young people tell us that family is key to their happiness, yet too often we find they don't have this crucial support."

Oh i have their support in practical and physical aspects but when it comes to the mental/cognitive side of things, thats where i'm on my own and thats often the hardest aspect. However i'm not sure mum will ever be able to give this to me, having not experienced an eating disorder or self harm and the severe depression herself. I don't want to take away the fact that she had a really tough childhood or how she must have felt when dad left. Nor for that matter can i put down how my mental health issues (still can't say the word 'illness') and actions have made her feel. But I'm really not sure if you've been there whether you can truely empathise. For example i didn't have the normal fruit after lunch yesterday, which she remarked on:

"You not having fruit? What are you punishing yourself for this time?"

I simply said i'd had enough, which was almost true but of course what i didn't let on was my extra fruit snacks earlier which was double my normal lunch portion.

Mum has mentioned the Prince's Trust to me on more that one occassion but a 12 week course, with one of those weeks being residential (can you image me eating 3 meals a day for a week! Cooked and chosen by others too!) with a group of people that i don't know or trust, i'd never get through the first day. I suspect there are people around me right now who this i should be residential though - residential in an Inpatient Unit!

The man and girl they interviewed on BBC News this morning were saying how there is support around for young people. General support and support to do with education and careers, yes maybe thats true. But where is the Eating Disorders Support? Where is the Self Harm Support? Yes there are charities like Mind and Rethink for general mental health issues but they really don't have the specific knowledge like a charity such as Beat would have. Sadly B-Eat just don't have the resources to cover a wider area. I think in my county they are present in only 3 towns, all of which are over an hours (minimum) drive for me. Their website severely needs updating too, when i last checked they claimed to have a group half an hour a way from me, yet when i phoned i was informed that this was not true, and still that information remains on the website, despite my comments. I expect they just don't have the funds to pay someone to run the website, thats normally the issue.

They do all these surveys (which is great that they want to hear people's views) but do the results ever cause change or result in progress?

Or is a "an overall average of 73 for [their] well-being. " a good enough standard not to need changes?

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