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Poor children at greater risk of mental health problems, says Christian charity

Wed 30 Mar 2016
By Hannah Tooley

A Christian group says that children from less economically sound backgrounds are more at risk of mental health issues. 

The Children's Society has released a report saying that poorer children face a greater risk of mental health problems than wealthier children.

It says poorer children often do not feel as useful as their wealthier peers and are more likely to feel like failures in some situations.

Lucy Capron, spokesperson for The Children's Society, said: "We are concerned that [childhood poverty] could lead more severe problems later on in life.

She went to say that the government and the local services need to recognise the link between child poverty and mental health problems and take action to prevent that in the future."

An analysis of data from the survey found that almost a third (29%) of 16-19-year-olds growing up in poverty did not feel optimistic about the future, compared with about one fifth (22%) more affluent young people.

The Children's Society, which provides mental health care, has warned that an increase in child poverty could lead to an increase in demand for mental health services, which it claims are already strained.

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children's Society, said: "Evidence shows that children who live in poverty are exposed to a range of risks that can have a serious impact on their mental health. Yet despite this, Government and health trusts are failing to recognise children in poverty as a vulnerable group for mental health problems."

The Children's Society said the government should make school counsellors available to better address the needs of young people, including issues created by family poverty.

By Megan Howe

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