Young people affected by their family members diagnosed with a mental health disorder

Written on 02 Feb 2017

I am so looking forward to the day when I can write a really positive blog about mental health as a result of some great news, like more actual, verifiable Government funding, or 1000 more new mental health beds made available in the last month!

So I have to apologise for talking about another piece of concerning mental health news as revealed in the i newspaper which had access to the results of a 12-month study for the National Citizen Service (NCS). This study revealed the worrying effect on young people in families of the mental health illness of other family members. To quote from the i report "The survey of 1000 young people aged 16 and 17 found that 24% were living with a family member suffering from depression while 10% were affected by someone suffering anxiety disorder".

It goes on "Perhaps of greatest concern is that the figures reveal 49% do not believe that they are being provided with support to deal with their family member's depression, while 45% say the same in dealing with anxiety".

Although distressing and concerning, I am marginally comforted by the fact that again mental health is shown to be a topical, high-level subject in the press and broadcasting and that mental health is even starting to be discussed by people in the same way as they discuss their physical health. It's at last losing some of that outdated and worthless stigma.

But while we discuss mental health more and commission further reports and even work to develop more and better treatment, until this Government lives up to its many promises and starts actually providing the level of funds that true mental health care and treatment requires, I remain pessimistic.

By the way, full marks to the excellent daily concise newspaper, the i, for its consistent coverage on mental health. Keep it coming!

If you've been affected by the topic that I've covered in this blog post, and would like to discuss your feelings, you can leave a public comment below. Alternatively, if you'd like to communicate with me on a one-to-one basis about any issues you'd like to discuss further, you can either email me or call me on 07946 517967.