As the Government propose the re-introduction of Grammar schools and the segregation of our kids from their brothers, sisters and friends at the age of eleven and on the basis of one specific, under-developed human characteristic I wonder if we haven't just added one more nail in to the coffin of what were once the 'best years of our lives'.
University managers cannot be allowed to pretend this will resolve itself. They cannot continue to award themselves higher salaries than the counselling budgets and claim there is just no money. They cannot continue to pass the buck onto overworked staff. It is time our institutions face up to the mental health crisis.
We know already that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and that mental distress costs the economy in England over £105 billion each year. I profoundly hope that all the recent reports and publicity translate into actions that really make a difference.
Moving to a new school, or up a year at an existing school - with new friends, teachers, subjects, rules and expectation - is a big deal for young people. All of us who are adults remember how daunting it was, but we sometimes take it for granted that children will be able to cope with the change. The truth is, for many young people, the changing schools or starting a new academic year is really difficult to deal with...
Agoraphobia is the fear of being away from your "safe place", the place where you feel you can handle anything that comes your way. (Or at least, you can handle it in your own way without being judged, or you can handle it "better".)
If we're serious about improving the mental health of young people, we need a sea change in our approach to monitoring the issue. A prevalence survey once every 14 years simply isn't good enough. It's time to recognise children's mental health as a national asset, and do everything we can to understand, strengthen and protect it.
We have to make sure that all children know that they won't be abandoned to deal with the stresses and strains of life. Wen you know someone is listening, things can and do get better. The first conversation might be the hardest, but plucking up the courage to speak to someone is the first step.
Children and young people's mental health is too important an issue to rely simply on local health leaders to lead change, especially given the wide variation in the quality of local plans and the significant barriers to progress identified in this report. This autumn, the Education Policy Institute Commission will use all this analysis to make detailed policy recommendations for national and local health and care leaders... Future in Mind must be implemented effectively so children and young people with mental health problems in this country get early access to the high quality support they need.
The extent of mental health problems in UK universities has been laid bare in a new YouGov survey of Britain's students. More than a quarter of students (27%) report having a mental health problem of one type or another. Female students are more likely to say they have mental health problems than males (34% vs 19%), and LGBT students have a particularly high likelihood of mental health problems compared to their heterosexual counterparts (45% vs 22%). For a significant proportion of students who report mental health issues, these problems can make even day-to-day tasks difficult. Nearly half (47%) say that that they have trouble completing some daily tasks and a further 4% say they cannot complete even simple tasks.
You do not need to be perfect. You don't need a degree in counselling to support your child. You just need to listen; listening to them can mean the world, and a hug can be very welcome. It might be tricky to talk in person; it might be easier to text or email, that's absolutely okay.
Recovery from a mental health condition is a complex and difficult journey that can be a full time endeavour. It's not a a linear process; but full of blips and struggles as well as triumph and success. Recovery can be hard enough without unhelpful (even if well meaning) comments or conversations.
How can you tell if this is a normal part of growing up through the primary years, usual adolescent development, or an emerging mental health problem? Well at this stage, you can't, but what you can do is take the changes seriously, because if it is the start of a mental health difficulty, then the sooner your child gets help the better.
Depression crept into me when I was very young. I can't recall the first time I could identify the sadness, but I remember frequent episodes where I would float out of my body and not recognise myself. I've always felt like two people.
Mental illnesses are horribly isolating at times, this is a message for all those who are struggling right now. Whether you are someone I know or a stranger far away, this applies to you. Heck, this isn't purely for people who are finding their mental health a challenge right now, but includes all those who are struggling with life or situations being put their way.
I have to admit that at first I worried that technology companies might not be doing enough on this issue. But as I looked into this more, I realised that technology was also doing something positive. It was bringing the quiet and often hidden tragedy of bullying into the open where we could finally see it. To school-age children today, there is no difference between their online and offline lives. Bullying is bullying, wherever it happens... Digital technology is creating new opportunities for positive and encouraging stories to be shared and to let vulnerable people know that they are not alone.
In the next decade the EU will use the framework to work with member states to bring each up to the standards of the best and to encourage the collaboration we will need if we are to break the last of the taboos and discrimination which mean that mental health gets treated differently to our physical health. We should not be putting all that progress and all those possibilities at risk by walking out the exit door next week.