UK: sixfold increase in children’s mental health problems

07 November 2018

Mental health problems in children and young people have soared across the UK.

In 1995, 0.8% of four- to 24-year-olds in England reported a long-standing mental health condition. By 2014, this had risen to 4.8% – a sixfold increase.

The greatest increase was in those aged between 16 and 24 in England; they were 10 times more likely to report a long-standing mental health condition in 2014 than in 1995 (5.9% and 0.6%).

Data also shows that reports of children with a mental health condition in England and Scotland, and reports of children being treated for one in Wales, grew by 60%, 75% and 41% respectively between 2008 and 2014.

The study, published in Psychological Medicine, saw researchers analyse data from 36 national surveys and 140,830 participants aged between four and 24.

Dr Dougal Hargreaves of Imperial College London called for ‘more radical action to improve access to and funding for child and adolescent mental health services’.

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