Right now, there is a mental health crisis among children and young people in the UK. According to new polling by HuffPost
Fear and Loathing. Why are these two words relevant to mental illness? Well, I'll put forward the argument that the two co-exist in the world of mental health. And sadly, each feeds the other.
I feel that there are potentially major psychological implications for children as they are growing into adults. And that has potential implications for the lives that they lead once they become adults.
Barely a day goes by without me reading or hearing something in the news about Mental Health, especially children's mental health.
We know that mental health problems will affect nearly half of us (at least) directly in our lifetimes, and 40% of us by the age of 25, we need to accept that mental health needs to be in the spotlight not just for a couple of weeks or even months but at all times.
I met Rosie Linder a fortnight ago. Like me, she is a middle aged mother with two children. Like me she wants to connect with her children. "I wanted a fun way to talk about emotions with my daughters. If you just ask them, they are very resistant. They feel they are being put on the spot."
I started putting pen to paper just under a year ago; my aim was to create illustration pieces based on my personal experiences with mental health. Prior to this I studied at an art school where I had panic attacks daily.
When the warning signs of anorexia first emerged at the age of 18, I was hesitant and uneasy about approaching my GP. Uncertainty and fear mingled with denial: I was adamant that I was "fine" and in control. Anorexia demanded secrecy; it made me feel healthy, virtuous and superior; it was the drill sergeant that got me up in the morning; the voice that governed my every thought and action - it had become the most important presence in my life.
Children are each other's teachers too, and many life lessons are learnt well out of sight of parents, teachers and staff. The mental, emotional and spiritual health of students really matters, because they influence each other's levels of misery or confidence just as much as whatever is coming from their school.
My parents both suffered with mental illness when I was growing up. As a young child I can hardly remember any issues and look back through rose-tinted glasses at a golden childhood. Yet, with hindsight, and as I grew older, the impact of those mental health difficulties becomes more and more apparent.