The STA Foundation

Mental Health

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is having a good level of psychological well-being.  It is being able to function well emotionally and be able to make appropriate behavioural adjustment.

What causes instability in mental health?

  • Genetics – it may be a condition that runs in the family
  • Infections – certain infections have been linked to brain damage
  • Brain injury – injury to certain areas of the brain may instigate mental health problems.
  • Drug abuse – this has been linked to anxiety, depression and paranoia.
  • Diet – poor nutrition may lead to development of mental illnesses.
  • Psychological trauma – this could be physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
  • Loss – losing someone close to you can result in developing mental illness.
  • Neglect – not having basic physical and emotional needs fulfilled.
  • Family – having a dysfunctional family life.
  • Changing schools – this can be a traumatic experience for some children or young people.

Types of mental illness

  • mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
  • anxiety disorders.
  • personality disorders.
  • psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)
  • eating disorders.
  • trauma-related disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • substance abuse disorders.

The effects of bad mental health:

  • Unhappiness and reduced enjoyment of life
  • Social isolation
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Family conflicts
  • Problems with smoking, alcohol and other drugs
  • Truancy
  • Problems at school or work
  • Self-harm
  • Harming others
  • Weakened immune system
  • Heart disease and other medical conditions

How can The STA Foundation help?

We will deliver a talk and a presentation at your organisation informing the recipients about mental health, its effects, who they can speak to and where help can be obtained.

Call us on freephone 0800 038 9807 or email on info@thestafoundation.org

Five warning signs of mental illness

  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability.
  • Extremely high and low moods.
  • Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.

Mental Health Statistics

Major surveys of the mental health of children and young people in England were carried out in 1999, 2004, and 2017.

Key facts

  • One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017
  • Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders. Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19 year olds in 2017 (8.1%)
  • Rates of mental disorders increased with age. 5.5% of 2 to 4 year old children experienced a mental disorder, compared to 16.9% of 17 to 19 year olds. Caution is needed, however, when comparing rates between age groups due to differences in data collection. For example, teacher reports were available only for 5 to 16 year olds. Please refer to the Survey Design and Methods Report for full details
  • Data from this survey series reveal a slight increase over time in the prevalence of mental disorder in 5 to 15 year olds (the age-group covered on all surveys in this series). Rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004, to 11.2% in 2017
  • Emotional disorders have become more common in five to 15 year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017. All other types of disorder, such as behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders, have remained similar in prevalence for this age group since 1999 (Source: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england/2017/2017)