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Mental Health of Children on the Decline

UK-The mental well being of young children of today seems to be disintegrating at an alarming rate. Studies carried out by NCH, the childrens charity, found that one in ten children now has a mental health disorder to a clinically significant level.

The research says that More than a million children have mental health problems, a doubling of the number in a generation. Emotional problems and conduct disorders have become twice as common since the 1930s

The NCH based its conclusion on three studies carried out in recent years.

The charity also carried out a survey "to test and compare our research findings with the experiences and views of the general public".

It found that the public believed emotional wellbeing was more important than family income, physical health, and IQ.

The mental health of the young today is an epidemic of disorders ranging from depression, anxiety and anorexia to violent delinquency. It is the lifestyle of the present that has to be blamed for the kind of problems that the children are facing. It is forcing the children to grown much faster than they actually should. The innocence and childhood seems to be lost in the background.

Junk food diet, binge drinking, breaking down of families and its values, increasing availability of drugs, sexy images projected by magazines, marketing by many companies aimed at the children, exam pressures as well as peer pressures are the main reasons for the ill health of the mental well being of the children.

NCH, called for urgent action to prevent mental health problems wrecking the prospects of a generation.

Influenced by super models and celebrities to look like them, the number of children admitted to the hospital with eating disorders has, shot up to more than a third in the last 10 years.

The study, based on a survey of nearly 8,000 children, also found that youngsters with serious beh avioral problems were twice as likely as classmates to be regular drinkers.

One in ten youngsters between the ages of five and 16 has a "clinically recognizable" mental disorder. Levels are higher among children from lone parent families and "reconstituted" families with stepchildren.

The NCH believes that childhood is being undermined by the combined pressures of schooling and advertising.

Children's Minister Beverley Hughes said that figures issued by the Office of National Statistics in 2005 do not support NCH claims that incidences of childhood depression are rising.

She said: "In fact, they show that the prevalence of mental disorders among five to 16-year-olds in 2004 have remained broadly unchanged from the previous survey in 1999.

Clare Tickell, chief executive of NCH says The emphasis must change from social class to social skills, self-esteem and resilience if we are to give the next generation the chance they deserve.

The final findings of the studies will be published in the autumn, when the charity will launch their major new campaign, Growing Strong.


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