This blog post is part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader, who was so kind to invite me to join in the discussion and share my views on designing for the future. I come from a public health background so it’s only fitting that I talk about our future population. By 2020, 50% of our population will be under the age of 25. The majority of adult mental health disorders often begin in childhood, so it is important that we invest in the young people to prevent and protect them against all mental health and provide them with the best education and support we can.
“It is estimated that one in 10 children aged between five and 16 are experiencing poor mental health, and there is plenty of evidence that early action minimizes the long-term impact of issues such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders.” – Alison O’Sullivan, new president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services
Although there has been a growing public awareness of the mental illness in children, it’s just not enough or it’s not reaching out to the children who are in need. There are many factors that prevent this, for example, many young children have difficulty getting good quality of services, access and waiting times were seen across the country and valuable early help services were found to be dependent on unstable and reducing funding streams.
“Children and youth struggling with mental illness should be able to get help in a supportive environment, close to home. That is why we are working closely with Ontario’s world class health care providers to develop local, patient-centered care. By investing in more mental health training for our health care providers, we can help to ensure that children and youth across the province have access to the services they need to get better” – John Fraser Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
What we need to focus
- developing a community-based mental-illness to support children
- establishing a role of mental health leaders in their schools
- ensuring children and young people have the knowledge and tools to access first responders
- providing a safe environment for those in need
- developing children and young people’s single point of access hub to build resilience, early intervention, and prevention.
- designing a one stop shop or drop-in facility for hard to reach young children
- Educate the parents/guardian, involve them in the process
The future – Safer, better platforms for young people to connect
Everything seems to be online these days, whether we like it or not. My 9-year-old niece can work her iPhone much better than I can. So why not bring the prevention online to the children? Make it safe and make it safe for them to access. We need to keep up with the social media platforms, there will be new ones coming out and parents need to learn how to use them.
The decision to seek help for mental health problems in children involves individual, parental, social, economic and cultural. For the past decade, there has been an increase in treatment and awareness but there are still many young people with severe mental health impairment that received no care.
With SO many online platforms out there, we are so connected yet… we are all very disconnected. We spent hours and hours staring at the screen without the need to say a word to the person next to you. It’s important for the parents to really understand this and spend the time to educate the children about mental illness and to address it if they feel their children need help. Children are our future, protect them.
What are your thoughts on mental health illness in children?
“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader”