The Better Standards for Mental Health Association was formed in order to educate and raise awareness of mental health issues in the community. Of particular concern has been the increase in the amount of drugs being given to children and young people for poorly defined mental health conditions. An example of this is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which has been coming under increasing criticism as being vastly over prescribed and misdiagnosed.
The number of prescription drugs being given to children diagnosed with ADHD has rocketed from 269,000 in 2000 to 1,091,000 in 2013 and increase of almost 500% in ten years.
This has a cost to the taxpayer of around £50,000,000 per year in drugs alone, without factoring in the increased burden on the NHS in terms of resources. If this were truly reflecting a medical condition we would have an explosion of almost epidemic proportions. However, there is a growing body of evidence, including from leading psychiatrists, which suggests we need to re-examine our medical and social approach to meeting the emotional well-being and needs of children and young people.
The Better Standards for Mental Health Association has a responsibility to inform the general public about these issues as such a significant proportion of young people are affected. We are also providing training on the subject to different social sectors from parents to police, social workers, nurses and doctors.