What comes to mind when you hear “mental health”? Are your thoughts automatically about mental illness? That there’s something wrong or bad going on? If you did, you’re not alone. There is a strong stigma in our culture around mental health. But thankfully, that is beginning to change. There is more awareness that mental health is a spectrum that ranges from mental wellness to mental illness. Everyone lands somewhere between the two ends, so everyone has their own experience with mental health. However, if you’ve ever been on the side of mental ill-health, you know how hard it is to talk about and get support.
As a foster carer, you are caring for children and young people who are more likely to have experiences that increase their risk of having mental ill-health. In fact, within the UK it is estimated that nearly 50% of children in care meet the criteria for a possible mental health disorder . Unfortunately, conditions under the coronavirus pandemic have only made mental ill-health more prominent.