Rethink Mental Illness responds to rise in poor mental health in young people

29 November 2022

We respond to new statistics from NHS Digital which show an increase of the number of young people struggling with poor mental health, with the proportion of 17 to 19 year olds experiencing a probable mental disorder rising from 17.4% in 2021 to 25.7% in 2022.  

Brian Dow, Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said:

“Today’s news that the number of young people experiencing mental illness has again rocketed should rouse the government from its slumber. In the last few years the nation’s mental health has suffered under the weight of the pandemic and the escalating cost of living crisis yet the government seems to believe the previous plan and the funding attached to it will somehow meet the scale of the challenge. The growing number of people who desperately need support are forced to wait outside the door of a mental health and social care system crumbling under the weight of ‘events’.

“We’re heading into a public health crisis that could take decades to recover from and ripple through generations to come. But we will not fix this by applying sticking plasters to gaping wounds. The government must recognise this as the emergency it is and elevate it to a national priority. We need to get leaders around the table – from government, public bodies and the voluntary sector – to establish a taskforce for urgent change.”