Since I got into early years and education I am so hooked on ways of supporting children’s learning, wellbeing and mental health, growing their resilience and educating myself to pass that on and share with parents.

Recently I became one of many Raising Children with Confidence course for parents, carers and anyone who is linked in any way with children- I am one of few male co-facilitators. I am so proud to be able to deliver the newest version of this training and also, I am so proud that I have a few fathers in our group.

As NHS Scotland research shows the majority of mental health issues onset in young people is around 12 – 18 years old. This may be crucial as If we would focus more on prevention, delivery of the right approach we could avoid onsets and reduce rates young people and adults who struggling with mental health. But we have to start now – I mean we need to reach out to both parents before the birth of their first child. Will say it again- We need to reach out to BOTH PARENTS.

One in ten young people is experiencing mental health problems, each year. Mental Health Foundation prognosis says – Untreated mental health problems account for 13% of the total global burden of disease. It is projected that, by 2030, mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally.

Can you support your child's wellbeing and mental health?

Access to prenatal and postnatal mental health services

Around 40% of the whole of the UK’s services have no specialist perinatal mental health provision. 40% of women in both Scotland and England have no access to specialist perinatal support, with this figure being much higher for Wales and Northern Ireland, at 70% and 80% respectively.

This is shocking. Other statistics are truly terrifying and outdated :

  • In 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death for men under 50 years of age in England and Wales, 71
  •  and for women aged 20–34. The demographic with the highest suicide rate (of 23.9 per 100,000 population) was men aged 45–59
  • Recent statistics show that 72% of people who died by suicide between 2002 and 2012 had not been in contact with their GP or a health professional about these feelings in the year before their suicide
  • On average 4 under 19 years olds die by suicide each week – just in the UK. That’s over 200 young, amazing kids losing their lives in the UK. JUST IN THE UK. I’m in tears,

I really can’t stress it enough, when I know that one in four adults experience a diagnosable mental health problem. In terms of taking days off work due to mental health issues, only in the UK each year we loosing 70 million working days – mainly due to stress, depression and anxiety.

Can you support your child's wellbeing and mental health?
Can you support your child’s wellbeing and mental health?

I think it’s about time to speak out in numbers about mental health. Majority of fathers I work with including myself suffer from some kind of mental health struggle due to childhood trauma, neglect, stress, events in life, the pressure of everyday life. I believe that with awareness, knowledge, access to right support we can have hope and make sure that the next generations will benefit from our work. Trauma-informed practice and support from right 3d sector organisations across the country.

We should all campaign and demand better access to mental health specialists, right to psychologist support, CBT, counselling, we all should live a simpler life, get encouraged to spend more time outdoors, lead more meaningful life’s in terms of being more connected alongside with healthy mind approach.

How do you support your child’s wellbeing and mental health?

Off the subject, but related to taking the right approach and looking into changing things: Recently I was thinking about cigarettes issue: Smoking is pure evil, killing us with no health benefit, and still, it is legal. Maybe we should think about smoking person database: Each smoker to be able to buy cigarettes would have to register and none registered person wouldn’t be able to buy cigarettes – smokers would also be required to pay more money into health services and have bigger quotes with insurance companies. Maybe cigarettes companies would have to pay even more into our health service. What do you think about this idea – smokes only for registered smokers – who pay more into health service due to the high risk of cancer and other diseases due to smokings.

Sorry for this rant smokers – it’s just not right to smoke without having extra responsibility.

We really need to look into taking responsibility in terms of our mental health, our children and our loved ones. We all can be at risk to fall into mental health issues and wellbeing challenges. Many of us are exposed to different factors:

As individual our children can suffer social isolation, learning difficulties or physical illness also genetic factors, temperament or gender. At our schools, our kids can be exposed to bullying, peer pressure, low achievement, relationships with others. Yet on top of all of this, at home, they can be affected by family breakdown or bereavement, poor parenting, abuse, neglect, substance abuse, parental illness or overprotection. 

Can you support your child's wellbeing and mental health?

Our communities often have little support, people live in areas of multiple deprivation filled with drugs and neglect from supporting services, living with social media rants and drama.

This is our XXI century. We need to make some changes and urge our local authorities to support us.