This week, NHS Digital released findings from its latest survey looking at the mental health of children and young people in England. This is the fourth survey of its kind since 2017 and shows a dramatic rise in the number of young people – particularly those aged 8 to 16 – struggling with their mental health.
You can find out more about what they found in this survey.
Laura Bunt, Chief Executive at YoungMinds, responded to the figures:
It is worrying that young people aged 8 to 16 with a probable mental health condition is the highest on record. We also know, for the first time, that 78% of young women aged 17 to 19 have possible eating problems. The data also lays bare some of the root causes of what is driving the mental health emergency with young people more likely to struggle with their mental health if they have a parent who is worried about money or if they have experienced bullying.
We know that more young people than ever have been referred to mental health services and that too many are reaching crisis and facing agonising waiting times. Year on year this data gets worse but instead of action, young people get broken promises in the form of scrapped plans and missed opportunities.
We need the Government to turn the tide on this emergency – they must commit to reducing prevalence and tackle the reasons why so many young people are struggling with their mental health. Right now, they can make a difference by making sure every community has an early support hub so that young people can get help as soon as they need it. Beyond that, we need an ambitious plan that matches the scale of need focusing on prevention, investment and improving services.
We're campaigning for the Government to #EndTheWait and deliver a ten-year mental health plan that includes the changes that tens of thousands of young people have already called for – early support hubs, better support in schools, and NHS services that meet demand.