A recent reports shows that black children are “suffering in silence” when it comes to mental health issues. They’re being failed by mental health services because of the lack of information and support available.
According to the report, Enjoy, Achieve and Be Healthy: The mental health of black and minority ethnic children and young people, many 11-25 year-olds suffer with mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, psychotic disorder or fear about being able to cope with life. Yet most of the participants in a seminar conducted for the research did not feel any confidence in mental health services. Why? Because they did not feel that the services would guarantee confidentiality.
When reading this it highlighted to me that these young people are ashamed of their illnesses because they wanted guaranteed confidentiality. Of course this is something that anyone wants, deserves on any aspect of health but feeling insecure can not be the reason why people avoid getting help.
Mhemooda Malek from The Afiya Trust, who commissioned the report, said, “A lot more needs to be done to highlight the range of difficulties. If we had the right support, it wouldn’t reach crisis point.”
Which I agree a lot more information needs to be made available, but I also know that the even with all the information out there if people don’t feel comfortable or safe to open up the information is futile. Therefore I think a lot more work needs to be done to encourage young people to open up without fear of being judged. And I know from personal experience that opening up about something as sensitive as mental illness can be one of the hardest things to do.
I think a lot can be done in our community, in our homes to encourage and comfort our young people. Let’s face it these people are our future, to ensure a brighter future we need to make sure that our young people are mentally strong and secure.