Almost a quarter of a million children and young people are receiving help from NHS mental health services for problems such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders, figures show. Children’s services are struggling to cope with demand. Research shows 28% of children referred for support in England – including some who had attempted suicide – received no help in 2015.
11,849 boys and girls aged five and under, and 53,659 aged between six and 10. Just over 100,000 patients were 11 to 15, and 69,505 were 16 to 18.
Experts blame growing pressures on the young, including the need to excel academically, look good and be popular, as well as poverty and family breakdown for the growing burden of mental illness in school-age children and young adults. An NHS inquiry found last week that self-harm and post-traumatic stress disorder had risen sharply in young women aged 16 to 24 in recent years.
The Children's Society suggests that an estimated 2.4 million children in England and Wales live in households with problem debt. They were at greater risk of having poor mental health than those in debt-free homes, the charity said.
Children's mental health has hit crisis point.