Last week I introduced the Growing With Gratitude Quest. Our quest is to have primary schools/teachers from 50 countries register as a Growing With Gratitude School by December 31st 2015.
What you are about to read will explain the motivation behind our quest and how the University of South Australia is scientifically testing Growing With Gratitude.
Why The Quest?
You now know Growing With Gratitude’s Quest (click on the link above for more information on our quest). But why do we want to create a global well-being program?
There is a significant reason behind the quest.
Recent print and television media in Australia featured the Mental Health and Kids issue, which provided us with alarming statistics. However, the focus was on signs and symptoms. To me this is ‘bandaid’ approach thinking. When it comes to mental health, I’m sure you would agree that prevention is key.
Here are the alarming statistics on Mental Health Issues haunting Australian children (statistics taken from The Age Newspaper).
- As many as 1 in 10 children, some as young as four, have mental health disorders
- Estimated about 560,000 children experienced a mental health disorder in the past year
- 1 in 13 children aged between 12 and 17 seriously considering suicide
- 1 in 20 had already picked a place to do it.
Australia is not alone when it comes to Mental Health issues. The United Kingdom, United States and many other countries statistics are similar.
- 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – that is around three children in every class
- Between 1 in every 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm
- More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time
- Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression
- Over 8,000 children aged under 10 years old suffer from severe depression
- 72% of children in care have behavioural or emotional problems – these are some of the most vulnerable people in our society
- 95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. Many of them are struggling with more than one disorder
- The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s
- Estimated that 13 –20 percent of children living in the United States (up to 1 out of 5 children) experience a mental disorder in a given year
- Estimated $247 billion is spent each year on childhood mental disorders
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults
- Between 20% and 30% of adolescents have one major depressive episode before they reach adulthood
So why on earth aren’t we preventing Mental Health issues in children? Currently we are told to keep an eye out for the signs and then put strategies in place to help children with mental illness.
Isn’t prevention better than reacting to situations?
Growing With Gratitude’s program is ground breaking as it is designed to prevent Mental Health Issues in children by teaching children positive habits based on gratitude, kindness, optimism, mindfulness and service in a fun and engaging way.
To sum it up, the reason for our quest is to create a global movement to prevent Mental Health Issues in children through the Growing With Gratitude program and by building a global community featuring schools, teachers and families from all parts of the globe.
How Is The University Of South Australia Involved?
Growing With Gratitude has captured the attention of the University of South Australia. Why? Because they were intrigued by our aim to prevent Mental Health Issues in Children.
The University is currently testing the Growing With Gratitude program. They are testing the program’s effectiveness of preventing Mental Health Issues in children. Together we are testing over 600 children aged between 5 – 12 from Australia and Hong Kong. The early indications of the testing are very positive. Over the coming weeks we will release our findings.
How Can You Be Part Of Growing With Gratitude?
To be part of our quest you can register:
Feel free to share with your teacher friends and any other friends you think will gain value from this post. CLICK TO SHARE
Please leave a comment if you agree that prevention is better than reacting to Mental Health Issues in children.
PS: If You Want To Teach Your Children/Students Habits Of Happiness In A Fun And Engaging Way – CLICK HERE