World Mental Health Day 2018: “Young people and mental health in a changing world “

Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit, London

World’s first global ministerial mental health summit to be held in London in October 2018.


For many years physical health problems have been diagnosed early and treated – as they should. Mental Health services, however, have often been underfunded - treating people with mental ill health was regarded as important but not by any means high on the agenda; mental health problems and the services required to manage provision of care were the stepchild of medicine. Psychiatrists had the least status of all medical specialists.

As a Consultant Clinical Psychologist in the NHS one of my jobs at a Regional General Hospital was based in a Second World War temporary utility facility where the ceiling tiles would occasionally fall during a therapy session on either my or the patient’s head. Another office where I worked was behind the main hospital building next to the hospital incinerator.

The internet, the expansion of mental health services in the private sector and the interest of increasing numbers of young people not only in their own wellbeing but that of others has helped push the issue of mental wellbeing to the foreground, as has government funding to train more CBT therapists. In addition, the efforts of the younger members of the Royal Family helped tremendously to reduce stigma, further enabling people of all ages to start considering that some people are physically unwell, some are mentally unwell, and some have a combination of both, and that that is OK.

World Mental Health Day focuses on children and young people this year. If mental ill health problems start before age 14 they can have lifelong consequences, one of which may be suicide, so it is logical in terms of suffering, economic and social cost that resourcing mental health services are the smart thing to do.

Let us all give thought and compassion to all our friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquatinces, people we come across in our daily lives, and perhaps oursleves not only today, buy every day.

Manda Holmshaw

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