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Mental health screening for children

**helen****helen** Mod malarkistPosts: 9,235 Listening Ear
Imagine from when you were small, as well as having standard sight tests, hearing tests, dental check-ups etc you were also given a test to assess your mental wellbeing.

What might such tests look like?

What impact might that have in later life?

What are the potential pros and what are the potential pitfalls?

Came up in conversation in a meeting I had today and thought you guys might have some thoughts about it... :)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You see I'm a bit mixed about this to be honest. I think it could be quit frightening for children to have such personal and probing questions asked to them because, although it would be done in a quite child friendly way, its not very nice. I've been assessed many times for my mental health and it never gets any less scary, and I'm 18! Wouldn't like the thought of a primary school aged child getting asked the same questions. I understand that they would want to be able to notice the signs as soon as possible so they could give the appropriate help but it would be very daunting for the child.
    But it would be good because a lot of the time, mental health illnesses are missed/covered up very well and they begin to spiral out of control. That's when people sometimes feel like they are too 'out of control' to get help. If they assessed mental wellbeing when they were a child, they wouldn't get to that stage
    Its a tough one :chin: I bit a lot of debating went on in that discussion
  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    I remember the first time I went for an assessment and I realised just how abnormal I was. So I think it depends on what they were asking for and how they were screening for it because it could be exceptionally damaging if not conducted properly.

    It could be a good idea and I would agree in principle but we'd also have to have mental health services that could cope with this kind of screening.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    plugitin wrote: »
    It could be a good idea and I would agree in principle but we'd also have to have mental health services that could cope with this kind of screening.

    Exactly this. CAMHS services are in complete crisis at the moment. As a nation we are failing the children who present as most unwell, so I see little point in funding screening to pick up even more cases until there is the money, staff and time to treat the children already known to services.
  • **helen****helen** Mod malarkist Posts: 9,235 Listening Ear
    OK, so another question... Do we think that CAMHS should be responsible for all mental health support for children? What about if there are signs of a mental health difficulty but it hasn't progressed to a point that a major intervention would be needed, but it's clear the child would benefit from more awareness of what their mental health is? And more awareness of what they can access if they need some help - e.g. Kooth, Mindfull - or other self-referring options?

    And how about if all teachers, teaching assistants, youth workers, parents, social workers etc were 100% more aware of how to be support young people to proactively manage mental health difficulties? Could that make a difference?

    What else could make a difference?

    These aren't my views by the way - just throwing some more thoughts into the mix :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I personally can't stand camhs, but that's just my personal view. I'm sure they've helped people in a lot of ways but I think its too formal and they often rush people to talk when they're not ready. That's probably partly to do with the number of referrals they get. So yeah, I think different organizations should step in for children with mental health problems.

    I've always though teachers should be more clued up on it to be honest. Social workers definitely. My old social worker didn't have a clue about any mental health illnesses. In fact at one point she was trying to diagnose me with something that was nothing to do with the 'symptom's' I was showing/saying. Social workers see a lot of young people with mental illnesses therefore I feel like they should know a bit more about it. Even the basics would be good

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hmmm. Would this screening also mean that those with learning disabilities, behaviour issues would be picked up then? I only have an Autism diagnosis because I asked for it, after years of depression and struggling socially.

    And yes, I do agree with social workers needing training. My former social worker was useless, questioned my diagnosis and ignored my needs. And like Becki, tried diagnosing me with something I don't have.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,228 Skive's The Limit
    As long as we don't get into a situation like they have in the US, where any sort of difficult behavior from children gets labeled as a 'condition', which is then treated with mind altering drugs like Ritalin and SSRI's.

    There is a disturbing relationship between Big Pharma and US psychiatry.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Good point, Skive. From experience, it's almost as bad over here. My cousin is allowed to do whatever because he has a "condition". His parents wonder why he's now the way he is.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think this would be great! Lots of children and teenagers either don't understand what they're feeling is different to others, or have an idea but don't have the courage or support to tell someone. Being in this situation is hard. Also, it will make mental health more well known and understood. It may also make children who have issues feel less 'odd' because everyone has to have the tests instead of only them as an individual.
    Teachers will become more aware and it may even help us to develop our knowledge of mental health, therefore developing our knowledge of psychology.
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