Young people's mental health & wellbeing research - Feb 2020

Healthwatch England had 3 key objectives for the research: understand the main triggers of the mental health crises in young people, understand how effective the current system is at averting and managing mental health crises and finally, Healthwatch wanted to understand what changes and innovations young people would like to see to mental health services in the future. Read more

Mental Health of Children & Young People

Treatment and referral data indicate increased demand for specialist mental health interventions over the past decade for children and young people. General surveys have found increased levels of low wellbeing in children in England.  But it has not been possible before now to establish the trend in underlying rates of mental disorder in children. Different disorders were found to be prominent at different stages of childhood. For example, rates of emotional disorders were highest in 17 to 19 year-olds.  While rates of behavioural and hyperactivity disorders were highest in children aged 5 to 16. Read more

Future in Mind

Our childhood has a profound effect on our adult lives. Many mental health conditions in adulthood show their first signs in childhood and, if left untreated, can develop into conditions which need regular care. But, too often, children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health is not given the attention it needs. Anyone who works with or for young people knows that this isn’t just about funding. What is needed is a fundamental shift in culture and a whole system approach focusing on prevention of mental ill health, early intervention and recovery. We owe this to young people. It is with their future in mind that we must all commit to, and invest in this challenge. Read more

Effects of Urban Green Space on Health

The available evidence summarized in this chapter suggests that potential causal pathways leading to public health benefits of urban green spaces include psychological relaxation and stress reduction, improved social cohesion and psychological attachment to the home area, immune system benefits and enhanced physical activity. Green space can also provide ecosystem services associated with reduced exposures to noise, air pollution and excessive heat. Read more

Nature Experience improves Mental well-being

Urbanisation has many benefits, but it also is associated with increased levels of mental illness, including depression. It has been suggested that decreased nature experience may help to explain the link between urbanisation and mental illness. This suggestion is supported by a growing body of correlational and experimental evidence, which raises a further question: what mechanism(s) link decreased nature experience to the development of mental illness? One such mechanism might be the impact of nature exposure on rumination, a maladaptive pattern of self-referential thought that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. We show in healthy participants that a brief nature experience, a 90-min walk in a natural setting, decreases both self-reported rumination and neural activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, whereas a 90-min walk in an urban setting has no such effects on self-reported rumination or neural activity. Read more

The Role of Green Space for Social Inclusion Of Youths from different Cultures

An investigation into leisure activities in urban forests and public green spaces for their potential to facilitate social interaction between Swiss and immigrant young people took place. Patterns of socialising and making friends in these outdoor locations were found to differ depending on age, school level, gender and the percentage of immigrants in each residential area. Public urban green spaces were found to play an important role for children and youths in making contacts and friends across cultures, which is considered a prerequisite for social inclusion. Read more

“I saw the world in black and white instead of the vibrant colours and shades I knew existed”  

Katie McGarry