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Society responds to the publication of the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 report

22 November 2018

The report, published today, shows an increase in the prevalence of mental health issues amongst children and young people. One in eight children and young people aged five to 19 had a mental disorder in 2017, and one in 20 met the criteria for two or more mental health disorders*.

(* Mental disorders were identified in the survey according to the ICD-10 International Classification of Diseases)

Sarb Bajwa, BPS chief executive, said: 

“These new figures reveal just how many of our young people are affected by mental health conditions. They make for sobering reading, confirming what psychologists who work with this group have known for years - that the mental health challenges children and young people face are increasing. 

While there has been some progress in recent years, these new figures must now inspire the government and the NHS to act decisively to ensure we reach the thousands of children and young people who are desperately in need of support.

In order to so this, the government must now prioritise the expansion of the mental health workforce so that we can ensure no child is left to face mental health challenges alone. 

The increase in the number of children experiencing common mental health conditions like anxiety and depression shows that the current approach and funding model is not working.

We need to prioritise prevention and early intervention and psychological approaches that are proven to work with children and their families, peers, schools and communities to address wider social factors.” 

Following consultation with our membership earlier this year, the British Psychological Society is making improving mental health and wellbeing of Children and Young People our top campaigning priority for 2019." 

You can read the Summary report here.


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