Thursday, November 22, 2018

Mental Health of Children and Young People in England - new data published

Statement in response to the publication Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 

The figures, published by NHS Digital show there is an overall increase in the prevalence of mental disorders.

Our vision as a partnership of clinicians and researchers is to help address these challenges by taking action to transform our understanding, identification and treatment of mental health problems in children and young people, bringing about societal change within five years.

Dr Dennis Ougrin, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “The increase is not as large as many people have predicted. Specifically it is important to mention that there has been no substantial increase in the prevalence of autism. The increase is almost entirely explained by an increase in the prevalence of emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression, especially in girls.

“The figures show 5.5% of 11 to 16 year olds and 15.4% of 17 to 19 year olds reported ever self-harming or attempting suicide, indicating a substantial increase in the prevalence of self-harm and suicide attempts in late teenage years. Rates of self-harm and attempted suicide in 17 to 19 year olds were five times higher in those with any mental disorder (46.8 per cent) than in those without (9 per cent), highlighting the need to undertake comprehensive assessments of self-harm, including suicide attempts in clinical work with most young people.

“The data also shows the gap between the mental health of White British children and other ethnic groups is widening with rates of disorder tending to be higher among White British children and lower among Black/Black British and Asian/Asian British children.

“Children with mental health disorders are heavier users of social media and are affected by social media more significantly than the children without mental disorders.”

As the largest group of co-located scientists and clinical academics in Europe focused on mental health – the Trust and The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, are working together with young people, their families and schools to identify mental illness in children and young people; build resilience; progress research into new treatment, improve access to services, and change the life-course of individuals locally, nationally and globally.


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