Government urged to 'get a grip' on youngsters' mental health crisis
21 November 2023
A new NHS Digital survey shows:
- About one in five 8 to 25-year olds had a probable mental disorder in 2023;
- Eating disorders were found in 12.5% of 17 to 19-year olds in 2023, with rates four times higher in young women than young men;
- 17 to 25-year olds with a probable mental disorder were three times more likely to be unable to afford to take part in activities such as sports or socialising with friends compared with those unlikely to have a mental disorder.
Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive, NHS Providers, said:
"Getting help and support to children and young people as soon as possible is critical for their future life chances, wellbeing and social development – whether that's in mental health, hospital or community settings.
"Far too many youngsters are stuck in the queue for diagnosis and the right support.
"We need urgent cross-government action to get a grip on a persistent crisis. Without it many more children and young people, their families and carers will continue to suffer long waits for support.
"With almost 1.9 million people in England on the waiting list for mental health help and demand growing, NHS trusts are very worried about so many people, particularly children and young people, not getting the support and treatment they need.
"Pressure on hard-working but stretched to the limit mental health services with too few staff and resources makes it impossible to look after more people more quickly. We need sustainable levels of funding in the right areas and more capital investment to boost the ability of trusts, as well as schools and councils, to meet people’s needs and to modernise out-of-date facilities to give patients first-class care."