New report highlights the mental health crisis in young people
Rethink Mental Illness Media Team
A new report from NHS Digital has highlighted an escalating mental health crisis in young people. The report comes just days after the Children's Commissioner for England warned there was a "vast gap" in NHS mental health support.
The report, based on a survey of more than 9,000 young people, extended the age range from five to 15 year olds to two to 19 year olds and reviewed information from children, young people and their parents and teachers.
Brian Dow, deputy CEO at Rethink Mental Illness said:
“It’s sad to see the number of children and young people with mental health problems going up and not down, although not surprising. Over the years we have heard from countless people about how their mental health problems started in childhood but they didn’t get the right help until much later on. As well as being on the look out for the more common mental health problems like depression and anxiety, we also need to be quick to support young people at the first signs of psychosis, which can lead on to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and potentially a lifetime of ill health . We are particularly concerned that there seem to be a lot of spikes in mental ill health at age 17 to 19, a time when young people move to adult services and face longer waits for care. It’s also a time of huge change with many leaving education or going off to university. Our recent report Right Treatment, Right Time calls for a clear transition between children and adult services, and improved waiting times and targets for anyone seeking help for the first time, no matter how old they are. A lot of effort is being made by the NHS to tackle children and young people’s mental health and that’s why their long term plan due to be published very soon will be critical going forwards.”
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