The actor and writer Stephen Fry was among the list of high-profile names featured at a mental health and wellbeing event aimed at young people last week.
Delegates gathered from charities, the NHS and other groups representing young people to come up with better ways to meet mental health needs for young people in the Norfolk region.
Some experts claim that poor mental health among children and young people is reaching epidemic proportions. According to the charity Young Minds, three children in every classroom are now experiencing some form of mental health challenge.
The event, which was hosted by the University of East Anglia (UEA), also featured former Health Minister Sir Norman Lamb, alongside Emma Thomas, the CEO of mental health charity Young Minds. The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry also lent his support, with a letter that was read out at the event.
Stephen Fry said via a welcome video at the start:
We are familiar with just how deep and dark the epidemic of youth suicide, anxiety and self-harm has become.
We know it is an urgent crisis and if the young are not diagnosed and understood and helped early then things can be very bleak indeed. This is why the work the UEA Health and Social Care Partners are doing is so important.
The event was organised by UEA’s Health and Social Care Partners group, a collaboration featuring 12 organisations aimed at improving research and innovation in health and social care. The group worked closely with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to pull together mental health professionals working in the area to help improve collaborations and new ways of doing things.
Psychiatrist Dr Jon Wilson said:
There is an undeniable need for better support of the mental health needs of children and young people. With the promise of major investment across all sectors, a conference like this could not be more timely.
Image: University of East Anglia