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Mind responds to new NHS data on the number of children and young people experiencing a mental health problem

Tuesday, 29 November 2022 Mind

This morning the NHS has released new statistics on the mental health, development and wellbeing of children and young people in England. The figures, published in the Mental Health of Children and Young People survey 2022 (wave 3 follow up to the 2017 survey), show consistently high rates of probable mental disorders across all ages, with a significant jump for older teenagers aged 17-19.

Responding to the findings, Sophie Corlett, Interim CEO for Mind said:

“It’s deeply worrying to see that as many as a quarter of young people aged 17-19 are now experiencing a mental health problem, up from 1 in 6 in 2021 and 1 in 10 in 2017. Among 7-16 year olds, rates have stayed consistently high with 1 in 6 facing a mental health problem since the onset of the pandemic - suggesting that an entire cohort have remained in heightened states of distress for years following the educational, social and economic upheaval of Covid-19. We’re also seeing the toll of the cost-of-living crisis on young adults with mental health problems, who were 7 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.

“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 provision of a network of early support hubs for young people across England would guarantee somewhere to go when they first start to struggle with their mental health – rather than being left to reach crisis point and needing more intensive, expensive support later on. The earlier a young person gets support for their mental health, the more effective that support is likely to be. Young people and their families cannot be side-lined any longer by the government, who need to prioritise the crisis in youth mental health as a matter of national emergency.”

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