Patrick Christys: There is a very genuine mental health crisis among the young population

We could end up with a lost generation

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We need to talk about the pandemic, not, not that one. Not the coughy sneezy one, not the one that has a vaccine, not the one that we will inevitably be out of soon and poses no real risk to children. The other pandemic. The one with, as yet, no known cure, the one that’s growing by the day, the one that throughout history has robbed more children of fathers and mothers, and more fathers and mothers of their children. The one that Chris Whitty is yet to do a little slideshow about. I’m talking about the mental health pandemic.

Here at GB News we’ve managed to get hold of some of the latest figures, and they make grim reading.

I’m going to give you them in a sec but I want to make one point almost immediately.

Chris Whitty, Boris Johnson, Jonathan Van Tam, Patrick Vallance, SAGE…they were all pushing for rules and regulations that by definition will have had a massive impact on peoples mental health. Especially young people. If they think that they can declare mission accomplished when t he case numbers drop and we all just move on – they’ve got another thing coming. The consequences of their decisions will last forever in some peoples heads, it needs to last forever in theirs.

Data analysis by mental health charity Mind reveals more people have experienced a mental health crisis during pandemic than ever previously recorded. But, these figures only show up until July 2020, so we’ve got another year an a bit of this data to hit us – so if you think these numbers are bad, goodness knows what the current reality is like.

There’s been a 15% rise in children’s MHS referrals from March until July 2020. There were 2,276 more urgent and emergency referrals made in July 2020 alone compared to the July 2019. A 19% increase in people detained for mental health treatment who were admitted to acute beds. And there’s been a huge spike in calls made to MIND’s helpline.

Every single day in the UK 12 men take their own lives.

Now, let’s dig a bit deeper into this.

Young people can often feel very entitled, the Instagram generation want it all – a fast car, nice holidays, £30 rooftop cocktails, expensive meals out, as well as the chance to get on the property ladder and all of that. How often did we hear self-entitled little brats telling old Brexiteers that it didn’t matter because they’d be dead soon and we’d rejoin the European Union… But it’s not those people I’m talking about now.

There is a very genuine, and very acute mental health crisis taking place right now among the young population.

These figures, the latest ones, show children waited average of two months (56 days) to begin treatment (2019) – double government’s four-week target. Government unlikely to meet its target by 2022-23.

Longest median wait times were in West London Mental Health Trust = 182 days (six months), South Tyneside and Sunderland = 129 days.

In the last year there’s been a 35% increase in child mental health referrals (2019/20).

Among students, suicides have risen by 20-a-year since 2017, so the latest numbers show 174 students killed themselves, 121 of them men.

Government pledged around £12bn in Mental Health funding - it’s not really clear where that’s going.

Look, we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on an illness that has its biggest impact on the elderly, and rightly so. But we’re coming out of that now, and in its place is another pandemic that disproportionately affects the young.

We could end up with a lost generation.

The brain affects everything, the young are the future of this nation it goes without saying we need to make sure that youth mental health is in a good place.

If Chris Whitty really cares about public health, then I’d expect to see a few slide shows about how he intends to get this country out of the mental health crisis that his decision making helped create.