Rise in number of pupils with mental health problems

Emotional disorders, including anxiety and depression, becoming more common in five to 15-year-olds

Helen Ward

mental health AoC colleges FE

One in eight young people had a mental health difficulty last year, according to a major new report.

The survey, published today by the NHS, shows that 12.8 per cent of children aged five to 19, had a child mental health disorder in 2017.

The survey revealed that for those children aged five to 15, the prevalence of mental health problems has risen from 9.7 per cent in 1999 to 11.2 per cent in 2017.

Emotional disorders, which include anxiety and depression, have become more common in five to 15-year-olds going from 4.3 per cent in 1999 to 5.8 per cent in 2017, the report shows. But all other types of mental health disorder, have "remained similar in prevalence" for this age group since 1999.

The survey collected information from 9,117 children and young people. It found that different disorders were found to be more or less common at different stages of childhood, with rates of mental disorder higher at older ages.

For two-four year-old preschool children one in eighteen (5.5 per cent) were identified as having at least one mental disorder. That rose to 16.9 per cent among 17 to 19-year-olds.

The research also found that a  third (34.9%) of 14 to 19-years-old who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or with another sexual identity had a mental disorder, as opposed to 13.2% of those who identified as heterosexual.

A quarter of 11 to 16-year-olds with a mental disorder had self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point, compared to 3 per cent of those who were not diagnosed as having a mental disorder.


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Helen Ward

Helen Ward

Helen Ward is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @teshelen

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