The Mental Health Epidemic
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As shown by statistics, rates of mental illnesses continue to rise in the young.
The sparsity of treatment available to sufferers due to the high demand suggests a change needs to be made.
Whether there's a direct cause, or a correlation between the education system and mental illnesses, I don't know. I have,however, personally suffered and have seen several people develop mental illnesses with exam stress and a need to succeed being a common factor.
In 2015 I was admitted to an Eating Disorder clinic due to my physical health escalating to a life-threatening state as a result of my anorexia. I was an inpatient for 5 months and 10 days.
Upon discharge I was half way through year 10; I had a lot of catching up to do.
I sat mocks as normal, however, due to my compromised brain function and missing such a large proportion of lessons, I didn't get the A*s and As I was used to. I was prepared for this and understanding, however, I saw year 11 as my chance to succeed and overcome this. I was going to achieve.
Work hard and get the grades, seems simple, right? Maybe this would've worked, had I not dismissed the fact that mental illnesses don't just disappear. I worked from the crack of dawn until night on a daily basis, and I'll be honest, it felt so good.
Because I was working for what I wanted to achieve and I've always believed that you reap the benefits of hard work, I had a focus in life and something to aim towards which, in any other circumstances, would've been great.
My past with anorexia, however, and perfectionist tendencies meant I massively neglected my mental health. I would dismiss disordered thoughts, thinking that I was challenging them, when in reality I was abiding by them as the thought-challenging process was too time consuming for me to justify - as in that valuable time I could've been studying.
It's only upon reflection that I've realised these things and I've since become incredibly observant of my peers and analytical of my own behaviours.
Realising that countless people are affected by the high pressure environment which is present in schools I strongly see a need for change and would really appreciate your support in calling for a change in the education system in order to make it a less anxiety-provoking and stressful experience.
Thus lowering the rates of mental illnesses and, consequently, reducing the numbers of people requiring treatment and the financial strain on the NHS.
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