Mental health of secondary school children is getting worse

20 March 2020

Secondary school children have worsening mental health, the latest Health behaviour in school-aged children England national report has shown.

More than a fifth of young people had experienced a high level of emotional problems during the past six months, and half of 15-year-olds said they had felt low at least once a week – up 25% since 2014. One in five 15-year-olds also said they had self-harmed at least once.

Data gathered from children aged 11, 13 and 15 also showed that one in 10 had a problematic relationship with social media, and signs of disordered gaming were identified in 14%.

More than a quarter (27%) of young people were not getting enough sleep to feel awake and concentrate on school work, a considerable increase from 2014 (22%).

However, risk behaviours continue to decrease, with incidences of regular smoking and drinking falling dramatically since 2002.

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