Updated: Tuesday, 19th February 2019 @ 2:58pm

Manchester-based charity MedEquip4Kids reveal 10% of children aged five to 16 suffer from mental health issue

Manchester-based charity MedEquip4Kids reveal 10% of children aged five to 16 suffer from mental health issue

| By Alice Richardson

A Manchester-based charity has revealed that 10% of Britain’s five to 16-year-olds currently have a clinically diagnosable mental health issue.

MedEquip4Kids – with the help of CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and researchers from Bolton University – has carried out studies in schools across the country to assess the level of mental health support that is available and the pressures young people are facing.

This most alarming finding outlines that one in 10 youngsters are suffering from a condition affecting their mental wellbeing.  

Ghalib Hussain, MedEquip4Kids’ Mental Health Project Manager, told MM: “Some of the figures that came back were quite frightening really.”

Mr Hussain blames a toxic combination of peer bullying (made worse by social media), breakdowns in family structure and a lack of available mental health support for the alarming figures.

The statistics come at a time when the charity is working to secure funding for their Hummingbird Campaign, which is designed with the help of Bolton University to tackle youth mental health issues head on.

The project is borne on the back of a recognition of the increasing need young people have for mental health support.

The Hummingbird Campaign will see workshops launched in schools across the country.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Major Andy Burnham has previously recognised the issue

Harnessing ideas of mindfulness and psychological theory, it is hoped these classes will help young people to build resilience, manage their emotions and support one another in seeking help.

Mr Hussain said: “This is a pressing concern for young people.

“Our intervention programme will be delivering prevention and coping mechanisms for young people, helping them to identify early warning signs and seek help.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham launched the new campaign earlier this month in front of 60 guests, including children’s mental health professionals, teachers, charity supporters and representatives from local media and the business community.

At the event, Mr Burnham said: “There’s a growing call from young people for more support with their own mental health and wellbeing, their own resilience, to navigate what out there is an increasingly challenging world.

“That’s why the Hummingbird Project is so right, so of the moment. It’s really answering the call coming from young people.”

The charity believes that if mental health issues are caught early, intervention at this stage can reduce greater impact further down the line.

The Hummingbird Campaign is designed to break down the taboo and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in this country to get more people – particularly young people – talking about it.

The sessions have also been designed with the help of young people, as the charity ensured that children and teenagers made key decisions about the workshop’s design and how the sessions will be delivered.

Minors were even responsible for choosing the name of the campaign.

MedEquip4Kids are currently looking to secure funding for their Hummingbird Campaign in the North West in 2018.

The first few sessions will be run in and around Manchester and Cheshire, with a view of extending the scheme and offering sessions across the country in the following months.