Mental Health in the UK
Mental health problems among children in the UK have become a growing concern in recent years. According to statistics, 5 children in a classroom of 30 are likely to have a mental health problem. This means that one in every six children may be struggling with their mental wellbeing.¹ Mental health problems in children can manifest in various forms, such as anxiety, depression, and behavioural issues, among others. It’s a known fact that the earlier mental health problems are identified, the easier it is to treat and manage them.
Early Diagnosis is key
Unfortunately, mental health issues in children are often overlooked, and by the time they are recognised, the child may have already suffered for a prolonged period. Findings by Kessler et al (2005) suggest that 50% of all mental health issues start by the age of 14.² This highlights the need for early intervention and timely treatment for children who are struggling with their mental wellbeing.
The increasing number of child referrals for mental health care in England has been a cause for alarm. In the last year alone, child referrals have gone up by 39%, which is a significant increase.³
This can be attributed to several factors, such as the increasing awareness of mental health problems, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health, and the increasing pressure on children to perform well in academics and other areas of life.
More funding is required
Unfortunately, not all children who are referred to NHS services for mental health care are accepted into treatment. According to recent statistics, 34% of those who get referred into NHS services are not accepted into treatment⁴, which is a concerning figure.
The lack of resources and funding for mental health services in the UK is a major issue, and this is one of the reasons why many children who need help are not able to get it.