Youngsters with health conditions prone to poor mental health

Child mental health web

A project which offers mental health support to young people with conditions such as arthritis and epilepsy is being extended

7th February 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A mental health project which supports youngsters with long term physical conditions is set to be extended across Scotland.

Following a successful trial in Glasgow, the Ucan project will be made available to schools and other organisations throughout the country.

The initiative – led by the Mental Health Foundation – was created after research showed that a third of young people with long term conditions have mental health problems.

The foundation’s Rachel Hood said: "Long-term conditions like arthritis, spina bifida, epilepsy and diabetes can have a profound impact on children and young people's mental health.

“Young people with these conditions often become real experts in what they need physically by getting to know their bodies, but often we don't help them to think about what they need to stay mentally well.

“If we can support children to self-manage their mental health as well as their physical health we can prevent poor mental wellbeing in childhood and the emergence of mental health problems into adulthood.”

A key component of the project is working with health charities to deliver Stress Less workshops – with young people being encouraged to express their feelings in a variety of different ways.

Mental health minister Maureen Watt visited the foundation to learn more about the project this week.

She said: “Early intervention and prevention are the cornerstone of our approach and there are a number of actions in our mental health strategy aimed at ensuring that agencies act early enough when issues emerge and impact young lives.”