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More suicide awareness in education and a better awareness of mental health problems

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Mental health. Suicide. Self-harm. They are three things which everyone as a society is avoidant of but something which is very much there and most certainly isn't disappearing anytime soon. We like to brush it under the carpet and hope it goes away. The most recent statistics from young minds show that nearly 80,000 children and young adults suffer with severe depression. 8,000 of them being under 10 years old. Do you remember what you were doing aged 10? riding your bike? playing out with friends? making fantastic childhood memories which you will remember and cherish forever. There are 8,000 under 10-year-olds battling severe depression, can you even begin to imagine being that young and in such a dark place, unaware of what was happening of why you were feeling that way. Between 1 in every 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm. There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self-harm, over the last ten years this figure has increased by 68%. The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s. These statistics will shock some more than others however they should open everyone's eyes to the sheer problem at hand. In the education system, there is not enough support at hand for these children and young adults. There is not enough education in place to teach these children and young adults that they are not abnormal, they are accepted and they will be supported through this tough time they are going through. This lack of education regarding mental health leads to this societal taboo which we all know too well. This taboo has detrimental effects on the acceptance of mental health, it leads to feelings of shame, guilt, and sufferers not wanting to speak up or seek help. This is when suicide becomes the answer. Imagine feeling that helpless and blind to any happiness ever coming into your life again that you result in taking your own life. Feeling that alone that you would rather kill yourself than carrying on living it. Some of you reading this may be offended or shocked by my blunt approach to the problem, however, I have no problem talking about it and everyone needs to have my outlook, granted it is a sensitive topic for many and I appreciate that however for the vast majority we are just too scared to talk about it. It NEEDS to be addressed, in the classroom, in homes, in society. This taboo needs to be eliminated. If the young adults and children felt like they had someone to talk to, even that they could talk to their own parents without feeling that they had let them down. There will be people reading this whom may have been affected by a mental health problem at some point in their life. Some people whom may be currently suffering and for them people I want to tell you that you're not alone, there is support out there for you so please don't give up or feel like there is no point in carrying on because I promise you from the bottom of my heart that things will get better. There will be parents reading this. Do you know the state of your child's mental health? have you dismissed their withdrawal as them being tired or have you taken a moment to think "what if?". I am not critiquing your parenting just making you aware of the possibilities. If you sign my petition you will be helping me achieve my dream of a better awareness of the rise in suicide and mental health problems in young people. I know we will never eradicate depression and suicide however even if what I am trying to achieve only helps one person that's one less person feeling helpless enough to end their own life. I have seen first hand the life changing effects a mental illness has on someone which makes me more determined to raise awareness and help these people suffering. We need more awareness of these issues in the classroom, teachers need to be able to spot the signs easier because not everyone who is crying out for help self-harms or even visibly self-harms so they need to have a better understanding of depression looks like or even what depression doesn't look like. There need to be more counselors in schools whom offer help to vunerable students or are known to all students so they also have somewhere to go and some form of a support network. These changes need to be made because everyone seems to have no idea that someone was suffering until it's too late. Thank you.

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