Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. One in four people in the UK has a mental health problem at some point, which can affect their daily life, relationships or physical health. One or two in every 100 people will experience a more severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
NHS Direct Wales, 2019
Growing up is never easy and, for children with SEND particularly, there are many things that can trigger mental ill health.
As with all situations, there are certain factors that may increase risks of poor mental health
Parental issues (e.g. substance/alcohol abuse, mental health issues, parent in prison)
Loss within the family (e.g. parents who separate or divorce, bereavement)
Experience of abuse (physical, sexual or emotional) or neglect
Experience of being severely bullied
Living in poverty or experiencing homelessness
Being a young carer
Experiencing significant issues at school
Although autism is not a mental health condition, around 70-80% of children (Simonoff, E. et al 2008) and autistic adults (Lever, A.G., Geurts, H.M., 2016) have experienced mental health problems. Many young autistic people felt that these problems stemmed from the pressure to act ‘normal’ in a neurotypical (non-autistic) world.
Useful sources of information about mental health;