I was very interested to read of a new piece of recent research about the benefits of mental health counselling among young people.
The economic benefits of counselling children
The research by a group called Pro Bono Economics estimates that for every £1 spent on counselling of children a return to society of £6.20 might be expected by improving job prospects and by reducing crime. The study focused on primary age children. I work with people from age 11 upwards and certainly see evidence of the origins of poor mental health going back this far, and originating within the family unit. Evidence suggests 50% of mental health issues occur before 14 years of age and that 10% of young children might be affected by poor mental health .
The barriers to improving this situation will come as no surprise:
- Not enough money in the system to fund necessary mental health counselling of the young
- The education is focused on exam success over the mental health welfare of students
I am passionate about mental health counselling for young people. There are two reasons for this:
- The origins of mental health issues are not the fault of the young person
- I know counselling works and that by working with young people there is a high likelihood that I can make a real difference to their future life prospects.
Young people are inspiring and I have been privileged to work with many over the years with my work including:
- Over 28 years’ experience of youth and community work in the voluntary sector, including being a Girl Guide Leader.
- I have worked in a youth wing at a secondary school in South London
- I have conducted ‘detached youth work’ in Basingstoke where I have been employed by both Hampshire County Council and The Children’s Society respectively.
Issues of bullying, identity and confidence affect young people’s mental health. I help them to understand what’s really going on, and suggest strategies for finding an exit from negative situations and perceptions.
I welcome this report and it makes me want to re-double my efforts to help young people become the best they can become in adulthood.
The original article about this story can be viewed here on the BBC website.
Click for more details about my work with young people.