Expert comment - Mental health in the United Kingdom workplace, is enough being done?

Ella Lane is a Grade 10 student at Claremont Secondary School

The charity found that the number of schools seeking professional help for students from NHS child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) was 34,757 in 2017-18, equivalent to 183 every school day.

In 2014/15, Northamptonshire CAMHS received 69 referrals from schools.

Almost a third of referrals from schools to CAMHS, for Trusts across England who were able to provide the information, over the last three years were declined treatment as they did not meet the criteria for support. While, in some cases it might not have been necessary, the NSPCC believes under-resourcing is also a factor.

"Mental ill health in the workplace is a growing issue".

She said the county's CAMHS service did deliver a good service but that waiting lists were too long and by the time children were seen many were at 'crisis point'.

However, three-quarters (77 per cent) of workers said the support of an effective manager helped with their management of stress and mental wellbeing.

The NSPCC's data, released under the freedom of information act, covers 53 of the 66 health trusts known to provide mental health support to children. It found that 123,713 referrals have been made since 2014-15.

The number of referrals to mental health services in Herts and Cambs is on the rise. It raises awareness of all aspects of mental health, and this year's particular focus is stress. Soaring numbers of under-18s have sought NHS care for such problems over the past decade but, according to Public Health England, only a quarter who need help get it.

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Given that mental health issues are often very hard to identify in the workplace, dealing with them in the same way as an obvious physical ailment can help firms detect problems early on and provide the necessary support.

More than half of the referrals came from primary schools, where children are under the age of 11, the figures showed.

Dr Max Davie, officer for health promotion at th RCPCH said, 'Paediatricians working in the community have also noted a surge in referrals for emotional and behavioural difficulties, often once CAMHS have rejected the referral, ' he said. "Giving employees support and a positive psychosocial work environment has a proven impact on productivity and means that employees embrace the challenges of work with more energy and commitment", he said.

The study also revealed that only one in five companies used mental health first aid training and other well-known interventions.

"We must make sure that Childline is adequately funded so it isn't left vulnerable and can be there for the children who have nowhere else to turn". That is why are allocating £300 million, over and above the additional £1.4bn being invested in specialist services, to provide more support linked to schools.

'At the universal level, we need Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) at all primary and secondary schools, so that children can self-manage better.

Hollyoaks will air a special episode focusing on Alfie Nightingale's mental health struggles on Monday 4 June in which the character is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.

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