Last year, we did a piece of research to find out more about young people’s experiences of mental health support. We also wanted to know how we can best help them in the future.
We worked with a research partner and spoke to hundreds of young people who had lived experience of mental health problems and trauma.
The research gave us lots of valuable insights which we used to create our plan to support young people.
Some of the key findings were:
Young people still don’t understand mental health well. They’ve told us that it causes them to talk down mental health problems that they might have. Because of this, a lot of them also said they prefer anonymous services
School or college is where they’d like to go for help first. And when they do, young people want clear information on the help they get. But at the same time, many told us that they usually hold back on what they’re going through at first. That’s because they don’t want to scare people or have their independence taken away.
Services need to be quick and treat them as people first. That means support that treats them has a whole person, and understands the trauma they may have experienced. This is really important – our research also found that if 1 young person has a bad experience, it can stop others seeking help.
Facts and figures from other studies
|NHS Digital (2020) Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2020: Wave 1 follow up to the 2017 survey
|Young people in the UK have higher mental health need than ever. 1 in 6 young people in England (aged 5 to 16) experienced a mental health problem in 2020, up from 1 in 9 in 2017.
|Office for National Statistics (2020) Young People's well-being in the UK: 2020
|Nearly one-third of 16-24 year olds in the UK (31%) reported some evidence of depression or anxiety in 2017 to 2018. This is; up from the previous year (26%) and the same period five years earlier (26%).
|Gutman, L. M., Joshi, H., Parsonage, M. and Schoon, I. (2015) Children of the new century: mental health findings from the Millennium Cohort Study
|Young people in the lowest income bracket are 4.5 times more likely to experience severe mental health problems than those in the highest income bracket.
|Mind (2021) Not making the grade
Secondary schools are struggling to meet the needs of young people with mental health problems. Our research surveyed 1271 young people* across England and found that:
96% of reported that their mental health had affected their schoolwork at some point.
|Accenture (2021) University: The Best Time of Our Lives?
Accenture surveyed over 12,000 students during the pandemic on student mental health. They found that:
|Public Health Wales (2020) Mental Wellbeing in Wales.
More than a quarter of young people in Wales do not feel like they have mental health support at school.
|UK Trauma Council (2020) Coronavirus Children and Young People Policy Briefing
|Around half of young people living in the UK will have experienced at least one traumatic event or adverse childhood experience.
|Torjesen, I. (2019) Childhood trauma doubles risk of mental health conditions
|Experience of childhood trauma doubles a young person’s risk of experiencing mental health problems.