A mother comforts her upset daughter on a bed

Record number of under 18s referred for mental health treatment

Leading charity YoungMinds has found the number of young people referred to mental health services has reached a record high in 2022, as per NHS data.

Leading charity YoungMinds has found the number of young people referred to mental health services has reached a record high, according to the latest NHS data.

In March 2022, 90,789 young people were referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, the highest figure since the measure first began being collected. 1 The figure is also a 41% increase on the previous month.

Urgent referrals to crisis care teams in March 2022 almost doubled to 2,547 since March 2019 (1,252). 1 These referrals include young people who have self-harmed and are suicidal.

Earlier this year the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, announced that the cross-government ten-year plan for mental health will be published by the end of the year.

YoungMinds is calling on the Government to make sure young people are it the heart of the plan, with ambitious departmental goals to help reverse these figures.

Behind each of these numbers is a young person who has become so unwell they need NHS treatment. This situation is devastating for young people and their families and unsustainable for the health system. We must have more options for young people to get support for their mental health when they first start to struggle.

The Government must urgently equip the NHS to deal with the immediate pressures services face – but must also make sure its upcoming mental health plan has a real focus on young people and sets clear goals, across departments, for addressing this crisis.

If we are going to see these numbers reverse, young people must be able to get help early on, close to home, when they first experience poor mental health. This is why we are calling for a national network of early support hubs to be rolled out as soon as possible.
Olly Parker, Head of External Affairs at YoungMinds

For further information and for interview requests please contact press@youngminds.org.uk or call 0203 861 2072.

[1] NHS Digital (2019-22) ‘Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics 2019-22.’ Published June 2022. This measure was first reported on and measured comparably in January 2016.

The charity previously published results from surveys with young people about the mental health impact of COVID-19

About YoungMinds

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health.

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For free advice and support for parents, call our helpline on 0808 802 5544