Who’s afraid of adults? Drunk and depressed children listening to their therapist
TWO stories in today’s papers stand out:
The Times leads with news that Under 11s are getting drunk and seeking treatment in A&E departments.
Hundreds of primary-school age children were admitted to accident and emergency departments for alcohol-related problems last year, it has been revealed. The 293 admissions, up by a third on 2011, came after a year in which more than 6,500 under-18s were taken to hospital as a consequence of drinking.
What about drugs?
The numbers, which were obtained through a freedom of information request, also found that 145 children under 11 were admitted to A&E with drug-related conditions, up by 14 per cent on the previous year.
Accident and emergency departments have dealt with almost 48,000 incidents during the past five years in which children were admitted for drink or drug-related illnesses. Of those, 438 involved children aged under 11. The figures show that more girls than boys are being taken to hospital.
And then there is a spot of scaremongering based on fears:
“There is a problem with their ability to defend themselves,” Morten Draegebo, of Cross House Hospital in Kilmarnock, said. “The typical patient may be found in a field. They often need to hide away from any sort of adults in the area so they’re picked up by the Ambulance Service.”
Hide away from adults? Is that how children are being raised: to see adults as potential abusers? Is that how the State views adults?
Mr Draegebo adds:
“They are unable to defend themselves even from assault.”
Are many assaulted?
“We have had many cases where young teenage females have come in saying that they may have been sexually assaulted and they’re that intoxicated and are distressed and say ‘I may have been’, but they don’t even know if they have been or not.
She doesn’t know? And did the medic ask if they have been assaulted or did the drunk ‘victim’ suggest it?
The suspicion is that such news is a step on the way to further demonising drinkers. Health warnings on bottles of wine and beer cannot be far away. Already young adults are asked for ID to prove that they are over 21 or “think 25”, as some supermarkets demand. But you can buy alcohol at age 18. The effect is not to protect the young but to make the adult into a child or demon. If you think that patronising and infantile, think of the children.
The second story appears on the the Telegraph:
Children as young as five suffering from depression – Thousands of children as young as five are suffering from depression with cases surging in the last decade, according to official NHS guidance.
Experts said modern childhoods had become increasingly stressful, with pressures from social media and cyber-bullying, school testing and rising family breakdowns among the factors fuelling rising mental health problems.
Recommendations from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) say doctors and schools should be doing more to identify pupils suffering from depression, and to provide information that the youngest children can understand.
NICE says that 80,000 children in the UK are estimated to suffer from severe depression, including 8,000 below the age of 10.
Is there an epidemic of mental illness in the young? Are these children all really clinically depressed, or are adults placing their fears onto children? The drunk child will be molested by an adult. The uncertain child is depressed. She must talk to therapists and counsellors.
In 2013, the Government produced “Measuring National Well-being – Children’s well-being, 2013”.
* During the national debate ‘What matters to you’ (ONSb), children were asked what was important to their overall well-being. They reported that their family, friends, school and appearance were very important.
Children’s levels of happiness
In 2010–11 children aged 10 to 15 who took part in the UKHLS were most positive about their friends (96 per cent relatively happy) and family (95 per cent relatively happy) and least positive about their appearance (75 per cent relatively happy). Just over a third of children were completely happy with their lives overall (34 per cent). However, well over half of respondents were completely happy with their friends (56 per cent) and family (62 per cent). By contrast, less than one in five respondents were completely happy with their school work or appearance (both 19 per cent) (Figure 1).
So. The kids are alright. It’s the parents and adults you need to worry about…