Young people and mental illness: A growing problem?

It is common nowadays to hear talk of a ‘mental health crisis’ amongst young people, with influential figures and campaigners arguing that various pressures from social media to exams are causing mental health problems. Critics of this trend are, however, wary of drawing more children into a therapeutic relationship with the caring professions, arguing that many problems teenagers face are being unnecessarily medicalised and that therapeutic interventions are more likely to undermine resilience than foster it. How can we ensure that children in genuine need get the help they require without diagnosing an entire generation as mentally ill.

Filmed at the Battle of Ideas, the speakers are Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; John Tomsett, author of ‘Mind over Matter: This much I know about the mental health crisis in schools’; Lyn Kendall, series consultant, ‘Child Genius UK’ for Channel 4; Dr Frankie Anderson, psychiatry trainee; Dave Clements, advisor to local government, blogger for the Guardian and Huffington Post. The chair is Beverley Marshall, volunteer, Samaritans.