I’VE been reading a lot of shocking statistics and reports recently about the mental and emotional health of children and young people in this country.

According to the Wise Up Report put together by Young Minds an estimated three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem, rising to one in four when you include emotional distress.

The report cites suicide as the most common cause of death for boys aged between five and 19, and the second most common for girls of that age with around one in every twelve young people deliberately self-harming (rising to almost one in three for girls aged 15).

With rates of depression and anxiety in teenagers up by 70 per cent in the past 25 years, clearly the situation is getting worse.

The pressures on young people are becoming increasingly complex and relentless in a 24-hour, on-line and addictive world, our children are simply growing up with higher and higher levels of stress and seemingly lower and lower levels of wellbeing.

It is now not confined to purely therapeutic circles but commonly accepted, that our childhood experiences have a significant effect on how we develop and how functional, resilient and happy we are as an adult.

Yet we are not doing enough to remedy the situation; the needs of children suffering are not being sufficiently met.

The Good Childhood Inquiry cites that 10 per cent of five to 16-year-olds have a diagnosable mental health problem, yet 70 per cent of those suffering don’t have the help they need at an early enough age.

The government is attempting to address the problem, pledging £300 million to bring counselling and mental health support teams into schools as well as reducing waiting times to a maximum of four weeks.

These are positive initiatives that will be piloted next year and nationally available in 2020.

And locally, at Gloucestershire Counselling Service we offer a comprehensive range of services to support mental health and wellbeing for schools that includes listening skills training for teachers, counselling for young people and staff as well as mental health awareness workshops.

Nicky Ferry is a training development manager at the Gloucestershire Counselling Service in Stroud. Contact GCS on 01453 766 310 or see gloscounselling.org.uk