Concerning Children’s Mental Health Statistics

Concerning Children’s Mental Health Statistics

Concerning Children’s Mental Health Statistics

In 2022, we’re experiencing a crisis in young people’s mental health as a record number of children seek treatment for mental health disorders and services are struggling to cope.

According to the data published by NHS Digital in 2020, 39.2% of 6 to 16 years olds experienced deterioration in mental health since 2017. [1] Additionally, 1 in 6 children aged 5 to 16 are likely to have a mental health problem.

As for more recent data, the 2022 May report published on the NHS website shows that over 400,000 children are now being treated for mental health issues. [2] Among the most common problems are eating difficulties, suicidal thoughts, anxiety and self-harm. While mental health issues in children have been prevalent for quite a while, the recent increase might be due to isolation and reduced access to face-to-face mental health services during the pandemic. In 2021, 44% more patients were in contact with child mental health services than in 2019.  [3] These statistics are even supported by findings from the survey by Place2Be published in February 2022; most teachers agree that their pupils’ mental health suffered significantly. [4]

According to data from January 2022, over 50% of mental health disorders start before the age of 14, which means that receiving help from a professional is crucial in that period of a child’s life. [5] However, this might not be accessible to everyone and the services often struggle to meet the demand. According to 2021 data from Children’s Commissioner, the average waiting time to be seen was 23 days but the results varied depending on location and children might even have to wait up to 12 weeks. [6] At the same time, April’s survey published by stem4 charity revealed that children and adolescent mental health services reject half of the referrals, including those suffering from depression and anxiety, because their symptoms aren’t severe enough. [7] Additionally, 95% GPs believe that such services are in crisis and 63% fear that young people will harm themselves due to a lack of treatment options. [8] Similarly, results from a 2019 survey revealed that only 8% of GPs believe that children receive good community support if they struggle with mental health problems. [9]











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