Mind responds to DfE’s State of the nation 2022: children and young people’s wellbeing report
The recovery of children and young people’s wellbeing towards pre-pandemic levels has been ‘inconsistent’ according to the DfE’s State of the nation 2022: children and young people’s wellbeing report. The report also found that:
- Anxiousness among pupils appears to have “worsened” during the 2021/22 academic year despite a return to full-time in-person schooling after the pandemic
- Rates of probable mental disorders and eating problems among young people in England remain “at elevated levels” compared to before the pandemic
- Wellbeing rates were significantly lower for disadvantaged groups in school e.g. those with SEN, and from a minority background
- The recovery of children and young people’s wellbeing towards pre-pandemic levels has been “inconsistent”.
It found that “significant challenges” remained during the 2021/22 school year, adding that anxiousness among both primary and secondary-age pupils “appears to have increased” and is higher than in 2020/21.
Responding to the report, Gemma Byrne, Head of Health Policy and Campaigns, Mind said:
“The mental health needs of young people are increasing rapidly. 1 in 6 young people aged 7-16 are currently facing a mental health problem – as many as during the height of the pandemic. We’re also seeing the toll of the cost-of-living crisis on young adults with mental health problems, who were seven times more likely than their peers without mental health problems to have used food banks or experienced food insecurity in the last year. Despite the need for support continuing to rise, young people are still left facing an agonising wait in a system that cannot keep up with demand, and the UK government’s response so far has just not been good enough.
“That’s why we’re calling for the government to invest in early support hubs which offer easy to access, drop in mental health support for young people when they first start to experience mental health problems rather than waiting until they reach crisis point.
“We cannot continue to watch young people’s mental health needs increase without seeing action. The UK government will be failing an entire generation unless it prioritises investment in young people’s mental health services, and specifically funds mental health hubs for young people. The earlier a young person gets support for their mental health, the more effective that support is likely to be.”