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1 In 4 Young People Have Low Self Esteem

This year's Children and Young People's Mental Health week has the theme 'Let's Connect', reflecting on the impact of Covid-19.

From 6 to 12 February, Jersey's mental health services are offering islanders advice about how they can access support for Children and Young People's Mental Health Week (CYPMH).

'Let's Connect' is the theme this year with a focus on how the pandemic has affected younger islanders and their relationships with people around them.

Dr Darren Bowring, Head of Children's Health and Wellbeing says the pandemic impacted everyone's mental health due to their worlds being completely changed overnight.

"There whole theme of mental health awareness week is 'Let's Connect'  - so connecting back into clubs and being social, connecting back with nature, with exercise, with travel, with seeing family, and all the things that are really good for our health and wellbeing."

 

This week also highlights eight ways children can support their mental wellbeing by staying healthy and active, setting goals and re-connecting with the community.

Since 2019, Jersey has seen an increase in poor mental health in children and young people.

In early Autumn, Jersey's Children and Adolescent Mental Service was branded as weak by the Comptroller and Auditor General who made 32 recommendations.

12 of the recommendations have been completed and work on the remaining 20 is ongoing with many expected to be completed in coming weeks.

Nearly double the number of young islanders are being referred to CAMHS for mental health support and neurodevelopmental assessment,  with over 1,200 in 2022 compared to 660 in 2019.

In the UK, one in six children suffer from poor mental health and in Jersey alone one in four say they have low to medium self esteem.

Alongside this, 21% of 16 to 34-year-olds in the island say they feel lonely.

 

Deputy Inna Gardiner, Minister for Children says the increase in the last few years is due to the negative impact of COVID-19, but is also down to talking about mental health and removing stigmas around getting support.

"Mental health is everyone’s business, and I want to take this week to share some of the ways that we can all support children and young people manage their wellbeing.”

Information about services and support available to islanders can be found on the government website.

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