• 9Dec

    Mental health of children and young people

    About 695,000 children aged 5 to 16 years in England have a clinically significant mental illness according to a new report by Public Health England.

    The mental health of children and young people in England also reveals that just 1 in 4 (25%) children across the country who need treatment for mental ill health receive it.

    The report aims to describe the importance of mental health in children and young people and the case for investing. It also seeks to analyse current levels of mental health and summarise the evidence on what works in order to help transform local services.

    The report found:

    • nearly 40,000 children suffer with anxiety
    • over 10,000 children experience depression
    • just under 19,000 children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
    • over 68,000 children have conduct disorder (a serious behavioural and emotional disorder)

    Other findings include:

    • 12% of young people live with a long term condition, and people with a chronic condition have between a two and six times higher risk of mental health illness.
    • 50% of those with a lifetime mental illness (excluding dementia) will experience symptoms by the age of 14
    • 10% of children aged 5 to 16 suffer from a clinically significant mental health illness
    • maternal depression is associated with a fivefold increased risk of mental ill health in the child
    • 60% of looked after children have some form of emotional or mental ill health
    • there is a 50% increased risk of mortality in people who are depressed
    • people who suffer with mental ill health, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, die on average 16 to 25 years sooner than the general population

    The report looks at challenges with the commissioning and provision of children and adolescent mental health services, including:

    • Access to services can is too often a battle and long waits for treatment can have a significant impact
    • Many GPs feel ill equipped and lacking in confidence in dealing with mental health issues in children and young people.
    • The focus on investment should be on early intervention.
    • Transition from children to adult services is often poorly planned.

    You can access the report on the Public Health England website.