Review and analyse the local health improvement technologies and the population groups targeted by the campaign

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Part A – Review and analyse the local health improvement priorities and the population group(s) targeted by the campaign.

The topic I have chosen for my health education campaign is mental health. Mental illness or mental disorders are health conditions that are characterised by alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour (or combinations of all three) associated with distress or impaired functioning. Through research, it is clear that mental illnesses are caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological and environmental factors.  of mental illnesses vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Some general symptoms in older children and adolescent’s that may suggest a mental illness include:  Defying authority e.g. skipping school, stealing or damaging property, inability to cope with daily problems, changes in sleeping / eating habits, long lasting negative mood or frequent outbursts of anger.

 I have chosen this topic for my campaign as mental illness in teenagers is as real as mental health issues for adults. Like adults, children and adolescents can have mental health disorders that interfere with the way they think, feel, and act. When untreated, mental health disorders can lead to school failure, family conflicts, drug abuse, violence and even suicide. This is a serious concern as incidents of mental illness in children and young adults are on the rise. ‘Studies show that at least one in five children and adolescents have a mental health disorder. At least one in 10 have a serious emotional disturbance.’ (

It has been stated that there is a lack of mental health education in secondary schools compared with that of drugs and alcohol education. ‘10% of students in every school are currently battling with clinically defined mental health difficulties and yet Ofsted have reported that most secondary schools are failing these students.’ (). Research carried out by The National Mental Health foundation found that 80% of professionals working with young people do not receive any training in mental health. There are too few mental health clinicians to address a growing need for services in response to the increase in mental health issues in young people, especially in schools. As a result of this I have decided to educate the viewers of my campaign about the most common mental illnesses, there causes and how to help prevent them as they may have limited access to services which address these mental health problems.

Suicide is a teen epidemic as UK studies have ranked suicide in among the top 3 causes of teen deaths. There is an alarming increase in the rate of teen suicide as ‘Teen / youth suicide rates have tripled since1970’(). According to SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) depression is the main cause of suicide. ‘Up to 15% of those who are clinically depressed die by suicide.’ ( Therefore, with my campaign I am going to help the audience make the link between untreated depression and the risk for suicide and help them identify serious depression or suicide risk in a friend.

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‘More than 24 000 teenagers are admitted to hospital each year in the UK after deliberately hurting themselves.’ ( Most of them having  cut, burned, severely scratched, bitten, scalded or poisoned themselves or pulled their hair out. Recent research suggests that one in ten teenagers self-harm. To put this in the context of a school setting, if you're teaching an average sized class, it is likely that there will be at least one or two self-harmers in your classroom at any time. Judging from personal testimonies collected by the National Inquiry into Self-Harm, risk factors for self-harm in younger people seem to ...

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