Let us be the prevention…

As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close until next year, we can reflect on the positive changes in attitudes towards mental health, in the media, and in our communities. As an official supporter of the national Heads Together campaign, fronted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, Fegans well and truly support the opening of a conversation that has the power to prevent, as well as to cure.

Fegans’ Head of Counselling Mary Fowlie says: “I think we are seeing a radical shift in society’s thinking about mental health issues generally, and children’s mental health specifically, with the intervention and initiatives of Prince William and Prince Harry, so just getting people talking about mental health issues is a great way of breaking down taboos and prejudices.”

A statistic given much publicity this week is that 75% of mental illness in adult life starts before the age of 18. This shocking figure highlights the incredibly urgent need for us, as a society, to focus on children’s mental health as a priority. Parental mental health and support networks are also being recognised as vitally important areas for investment, as it is also estimated that a third, to two thirds of children with parents who have mental health issues experiencing difficulties themselves.*

Fegans’ Head of Counselling Mary Fowlie says: “If parents can invest time in being with their children and listening to them, issues can be addressed at an early stage before they become too damaging and entrenched. Children need to know that their parents love them, and will care for them and help them even when things are tough. And the parents need to know that they don’t have to do it alone, and if they feel that they don’t know how to help their children, that’s where we come in with parenting support and counselling.”

For more information on our counselling services at Fegans please click here.

*Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer 2012