A record number of children are being hospitalised for mental health conditions in Kirklees, Public Health England figures reveal.
In the year 2018/19 children were hospitalised 70 times for mental health conditions, which is almost 50 percent more than the previous year.
This is also the highest recorded figure since records began.
Charities have expressed concern about stigma that exists around mental health and how it might be preventing some children from reaching out before they hit crisis point.
Alana Ryan, senior policy and public affairs officer at NSPCC, said: “There are many complex reasons for these worrying figures, but we know children and young people may be reluctant to speak about their concerns due to the stigma around mental health which can then escalate into something much more serious.
“We have a shared responsibility to tackle this and ensure when problems first emerge children feel comfortable seeking help, be it from family, a teacher or a place like Childline.
“Looking forward, it is also vital that Government prioritises and invests in the existing school-based mental health support teams to ensure all children can benefit from this important service when they return to the classroom.”
Of the 70 hospitalisations in Kirklees, 62 percent were girls and 38 percent boys.
Nationally there were 10,555 hospitalisations in the same year.
According to Public Health England, one in 10 children has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, and self-harming and substance abuse are much more common in these children.
These conditions could include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder and failure to treat mental health disorders in children can have a devastating impact on their future, resulting in reduced job and life expectations.
Charities say that more needs to be done to address these issues in young people and there must be more attainable support.
Tom Madders, director of campaigns at YoungMinds, said: “Even before the current pandemic, many young people struggled to access early mental health support in their community.
“Long waiting times and high thresholds for treatment meant that too many young people were reaching crisis point and needing hospitalisation because they didn’t get the help they needed when they needed it.
Where to get help if you’re struggling
You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health. Here are some groups you can contact when you need help.
Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, in confidence
Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill
Platform 1 men’s community group: Support for issues including mental health problems and addiction recovery. Visit the website or call 01484 421143.
Andy’s Man Club: email@example.com
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141
Mind: A charity offering support and advice for people with mental health problems.
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit
Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. There’s a website and a helpline: 0800 58 58 58
MindOut: Provide support and advice on mental health for members of LGBTQ communities. Phone 01273 234839
“The Government is rightly focused on tackling the coronavirus pandemic we’re currently facing, but we know that many more young people have been struggling with their mental health during lockdown, and that – despite huge efforts by mental health professionals – many are finding it difficult to access services.
“To tackle the anticipated rise in mental health needs of young people, the Government must take action and commit to introducing additional support beyond the pandemic.”