The mental health of looked after children

Stigma continues to surround the mental health of looked after children and young people, new research has highlighted. Carried out by YoungMinds, the report - entitled Improving the Mental Health of Looked After Young People - revealed January saw more applications to take youngsters into care than any previous four-week period.

In addition, it was noted that 60 per cent of looked after young people have a mental health issue of one form or another.

YoungMinds said the findings show that services in contact with these individuals need to be more aware of their mental health needs.

It was found that a high number of young people have a negative perception of mental health services, while the majority feel their emotional needs are not understood.

Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns and Policy at YoungMinds said: "Looked after children have come from a variety of traumatic backgrounds and experience many of the risk factors that lead to mental health problems including neglect, violence and sexual abuse."