Socialist Party
| Print

14 August 2019

TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

David Kaplan, North London Socialist Party

In 'Young, British and Depressed' ('Dispatches' on Channel 4, 29 July), Sanah Ahsan focussed on the crisis facing young people in their search to be treated for mental health problems.

Advertising campaigns have called for more openness about mental health, encouraging people to talk about their issues and seek help. But, as one young person in the programme pointed out, the problem is there is just no help available.

Young people want to access talking therapies, but there is a waiting list for these of one year or longer. One in eight people aged five to 19 have a problem with their mental health, and two out of three young people are not getting the treatment they need.

In 2018, there were 700,000 referrals of under-19s to child and adolescent mental health services - a 45% increase in two years.

Demand is at an all-time high; half of children who need the services wait more than four and a half months before being assessed. Often, their level of need is not deemed great enough, so they are not prioritised for early intervention. In the meantime, their crises worsen.

The programme surveyed 1,000 GPs. 86% said that prescribing anti-depressants had increased because of the lack of availability of alternative, talking therapies. 39% said they prescribed anti-depressants to under-18s but only 1% thought it was the best treatment for them.

A head teacher recognised that poverty contributed to the mental health problems of students in her school. And one young person on the programme concluded: "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

One of the key anxieties facing young people is GCSEs. Two years ago, the Tory government introduced a new grading structure, format and content for these exams. Little attention is drawn to the fact that these exams fail around one-third of those taking them.

Along with the Ofsted inspections, performance tables, and a lack of proper funding, this has placed incredible pressures on secondary schools to maintain their 'standards' and 'performance'. Teachers and students have borne the brunt of the changes.

Abolition of performance tables would relieve the pressure on schools - and on the students who are expected to perform at the end of year eleven. We need to abolish Ofsted and the other inspectorates.

There needs to be a reduced emphasis on the outcomes of GCSEs, and alternative ways of assessing the achievement of students, not just through examination results. School leavers also need fully funded training and apprenticeships, with guaranteed jobs at the end, as an alternative to the academic route.

Education and health unions need to campaign alongside students for more funding for NHS mental health services and a reform of secondary education. Service workers, young people and the local community should control and manage education and health services to ensure they meet the needs of everyone.

A socialist society could ensure that the pressures that face young people today are ended, and instead allow people to flourish in their own way and take control over their own lives.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29445




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

The cover of Socialism Today issue 236

triangle21 Feb Preparing for the post-Corbyn era

triangle19 Feb Couldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay: the battle to defeat the poll...

triangle19 Feb Cuts and climate change cause floods

triangle19 Feb Striking to fight education cuts and marketisation

triangle19 Feb Labour Party and trans rights

triangle19 Feb Keep the pressure on to save Royal Glam A&E

triangle19 Feb 'Roses are red, violets are blue, BP and Shell - we're coming for you'

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle22 Feb Leicester Socialist Party: Fighting austerity & anti-trade union laws

triangle25 Feb Chesterfield Socialist Party: Is the time right for a new Scottish workers' party?

triangle25 Feb Bristol North Socialist Party: Trotsky's 'permanent revolution'

triangle25 Feb Birmingham SE Socialist Party: The role of a revolutionary party

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999