Research by Janet Finch-Saunders, Assembly Member for Aberconwy, Shadow Minister for Children and Young People, has disclosed the fact that there has been a 102% increase in the number of children and young people receiving counselling for anxiety across Wales. This has prompted the Shadow Minister to talk of the need for more to be done by the Welsh Government to improve the mental health and resilience of our children.
Commenting on the statistics, Janet said:
“It is extremely worrying that there has been a 102% increase since 2015-16 in the number of children and young people receiving counselling due to anxiety.
“What the data reveals is that there were 1,410 more children and young people receiving counselling in 2017-18 in comparison to 2015-16. Indeed, there is an increasing trend in the number of individuals requiring support.
“This is corroborated by Childline who disclosed last December that counsellors with the NSPCC-supported service delivered 608 sessions to children and young people from Wales in 2017/18 - up from 340 in 2015/16.
“Anxiety is a crippling mental health condition, and there are a number of causes, such as a house move, starting a new school, distressing or traumatic experiences, arguments, and exams.
“Whilst I welcome the fact that help is available for children through charities and local authorities, the increase in the number of people suffering with anxiety is alarming and needs to be on the Welsh Government’s agenda for more action.
“I hope that we can all agree on the importance of improving the mental health and well-being of children. Whilst I am aware that the Welsh Government was looking at developing a whole school approach to emotional well-being, more needs to be done to improve the mental health and resilience of children.
“For example, children should be given ample opportunities to talk with people they trust, guided on how to challenge negative thoughts, taught relaxation techniques, and have healthy diets. If these measures and others were undertaken across Wales, I am hopeful that there might be a reduction in the number of children suffering with anxiety to such an extent that they require counselling. I want our children to have happy childhoods, so tackling anxiety is a must”.
|Table: The number of children and young people who receive counselling predominantly because of anxiety||31.19 KB|