One of the consequences of the way people live their lives in the modern world has been a worrying increase in the number of those suffering mental health problems at some point in their life. Many people can be affected and we need to remove the stigma and try to do more to support people's wellbeing.
The growth in the number of young people affected is of particular concern. Maybe it’s the pressure to fit in and to belong - a sentiment that always existed - but seems to have been heightened by social media in the digital age which is relentless and immediate but often impersonal and sometimes offensive. A number of schools are now encouraging parents to take mobile phones away from their children at night so that they can sleep and have a break from relentless twitter feeds.
Last week, the Government introduced new measures to transform the way we approach and deal with mental health locally, so that more children and young people receive support and care.
The new measures are good news for Cornwall. Our local secondary schools will be offered mental health first aid training to increase awareness around mental health and help to tackle the stigma around the issue. New proposals will also outline how mental health services for schools, universities and families can be improved, so that everyone in the community is supported, at every stage of life.
Across Cornwall, we will also see child and adolescent mental health services being reviewed. This will identify what works and what we can improve, so that more children and young people get the mental healthcare that they need.
Some good work is done by the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) service, which helps children and young people deal with emotional, behavioural or mental health issues. There are also some good charities out there which help provide the support needed. But all agree that this is a challenge of our age.