Young Minds celebrated its 10th anniversary this week with a manifesto aimed at tackling a problem that affects one child in five at any one time.
Every day, its helpline receives calls from parents who cannot cope with their child's depression, school phobia, aggression, hyperactivity or eating problems.
While the Government has committed pound;90 million over the next three years to develop youth mental health services, young people can wait up to a year to see a child specialist.
Director Peter Wilson says local management of schools has meant schools buying in the services of counsellors who may not be properly trained. He said teachers should also be given more training in child development and mental health.
The Young Minds helpline number is 0800 018 2138