Poll reveals young people with mental health problems still not getting support

18 MAR 2009

A new poll by the charity YoungMinds of young people with mental health problems reveals three quarters were offered no support when waiting for treatment. Government figures show 4,842 young people with mental health problems waited over 13 weeks last year for treatment.

The charity's poll also showed that doctors failed to explain to half the young people the side effects of the treatments offered and three quarters of the respondents did not know or were unsure what to do if they were unhappy with their treatment.

In response to these issues Young Minds, with the support of Comic Relief, is launching Myheadhurts.org.uk a unique website for young people with mental health problems. With one in ten young people suffering from a serious mental health problem the site will be a vital resource. The Comic Relief funded site provides information to young people diagnosed with anxiety, self harm, conduct disorder, depression, ADHD and eating disorders. It provides accessible information on what to do if treatment isn't working, questions to ask your doctor and how to make a complaint. The idea for the site came from young people themselves and they have been central in its creation and content.

Sarah Brennan, YoungMinds Chief Executive said: "Being diagnosed with mental illness, receiving treatment, seeing doctors and psychiatrists and being admitted into hospital can be confusing and brings up all sorts of questions: can I say no to treatment? I don't want to be here, do I have to stay? Having information in one central resource such as myheadhurts.com is exactly what young people need. They need to know what is happening to them, the risks associated with treatments and the right questions to ask. This site is vital because it provides comprehensive information on these issues and thus empowers young people."

BBC Radio 4 will broadcasr a YoungMinds Appeal on Sunday 29 March at 7.55am and 9.26pm and on Thursday 2nd April at 3.27pm.

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