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Lockdown’s tough on children, but alarmist talk of a mental health crisis will become a self-fulfilling prophecy

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Another day in lockdown brings another story about its devastating impact on children. This time Rod Grant, headmaster of Clifton Hall School in Edinburgh, claims that children are scared to go on playdates for fear that “someone will die as a result.”

Grant is right to draw attention to the corrosive impact of the media’s scaremongering on children’s lives. But is it really the case that, as the Royal College of Psychiatrists argues that school closures and the lockdown threaten to unleash a mental health crisis, young children could be damaged for life?

I pose this question because after studying childhood for over a quarter of century, I have become overwhelmed by the ceaseless publication of alarmist reports about the distressing state of children and young people’s mental health.

Even before lockdown, report after report warned that the “problem is greater than we thought and is likely to get worse.” So, in 2019, a year before the pandemic, a survey of teachers concluded that the mental health of pupils is ‘at crisis point’. More than 80 per cent of the teachers claimed that mental health among pupils in England had deteriorated during the previous two years.

I could dig out dozens of reports written since the turn of........

© RT.com

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