Why our work matters

At a time when there are grave concerns about the state of children's mental health in the UK, the contribution of The Art Room and similar organisations is more vital than ever.

It’s thought one in ten children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – an average of three in every classroom. In the past decade we have also seen a major escalation in many critical problems, such as self harm, eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

This really matters. Children with poor mental wellbeing find it harder to learn, to develop healthily and form relationships. And with 75% of mental ill health beginning before a person is 18 years old, improving mental wellbeing in childhood is essential if we want to improve mental health in society as a whole.

Despite this desperate need for care, children's mental health services are turning away almost one in four of the children referred to them by teachers and GPs. Even those who get accepted often face a wide variation in waiting times and have only a limited chance of receiving anything more than very short term support.

We believe far more could be done to tackle the crisis in children’s mental health. It’s the reason why we take such a pioneering approach.
Rather than waiting until problems escalate and children are referred to ‘crisis’ services, we intervene early on, working with schools to identify children who could benefit from our work. We then offer non-stigmatising, cost-effective support in the place children already spend their day. This gentle but effective approach catches problems early and gives children the tools they need to start turning things around. Time with The Art Room makes a real difference.