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A charity has successfully secured 100,000 signatures calling for mental health education to be made compulsory in UK schools.

The shocking truth is that 850,000 kids between the ages of five and 16 have mental health problems.

HeaducationUK (The National Crusade for Compulsory Mental Health Education) has been working with The Shaw Mind Foundation in a huge drive for awareness.

As everyone knows, education is key. They believe that education can help to prevent the development of mental ill health in children and teenagers, decrease the number of children and young people suffering from mental illness, and help to reduce the stigma.

Sounds good, right?

Sadly, it's taken 100k people to stand up and force the idea to be considered in parliament. Why's it taken this long? The statistics speak for themselves:

  • 1/3 of children and teenagers with mental health issues in England failed to access specialist care and had to wait an average of 66 days for initial assessment
  • Suicide is the biggest killer in young people under 35
  • 75 percent of all mental health issues begin in adolescence
  • The number of hospital emissions across the UK for teenagers with eating disorders has nearly doubled in three years

The Shaw Mind Foundation was set up by Adam Shaw, a mental health advocate, philanthropist and author. From the age of five, he has suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), debilitating anxiety, panic attacks and depression.


Adam Shaw. Credit: The Shaw Mind Foundation

However, he felt that he had no one to talk to. His issues reached boiling point when he was 34 when he found himself on a railway bridge on the brink of suicide. Luckily, he managed to get himself down and sought help from psychologist Lauren Callaghan. The pair then set up the charity together.

Getting mental health education into schools is just one part of their overarching plan, and they are currently working on supporting children whose parents have a severe and enduring mental illness, supporting those with mental health issues in conflict zones, as well as providing free talks at schools, colleges, universities and non-profits.

Amazing work by everyone involved. LADs.

'U OK M8?' is an initiative from LADbible in partnership with a range of mental health charities which will feature a series of films and stories to raise awareness of mental health.

Explore more here and don't suffer in silence. Reach out. It's the brave thing to do.

MIND: 0300 123 3393.

Samaritans: 116 123.

CALM: Outside London 0808 802 5858, inside London 0800 58 58 58.

Mental Health Foundation.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Mel Ramsay

Mel Ramsay is an NCTJ trained Trending Journalist at LADbible and has worked here since 2015. She launched the 'LAD of the Week' feature in 2016 and has run it single-handedly ever since. She started her career writing obituaries and funeral guides online. Since then, her work has been published in a wide variety of national and local news sites. She is part of the BBC's Generation project and has spoken about young people, politics and mental health on television, radio and online.

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