Troubled minds: facts about child mental health

14th October 2005 at 01:00
* One in 10 children has a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. These include emotional and behavioural disorders, depression, phobias, ADHD and autism.

* Ten per cent of 5 to 10-year-old boys have a mental disorder, compared to 5 per cent of girls. Thirteen per cent of 11 to 16-year-old boys have a mental disorder, compared to 10 per cent of girls.

* One in five children with a mental disorder has more than one. Three-quarters of children with multiple disorders are boys. Hyperactivity and hyperkinetic disorders are more likely to affect boys, almost all of them white. Eighty-two per cent of children with autism are boys.

* Emotional disorders, such as anxiety, depression and phobias, are twice as likely to affect girls as boys.

* Children with mental disorders are much more likely than others to take time off school, either because of truancy or health problems.

* Mental disorders are more common among children in lone-parent families, step-families, with a parent with no qualifications, with unemployed parents, and in poor or working-class families.

Source: Department of Health survey on the mental health of young people in 2004.

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