According to a new NHS survey, one in six children in England will have a mental health disorder in 2021.
Figures released today by NHS Digital also show that there has been a significant decline in the mental health of children and young people over the past four years.
Separately, NHS England has today acknowledged in new guidance to the NHS that 1.5 million people are awaiting mental health treatment and are yet to receive it as a result of the impact of the coronavirus.
The survey of more than 3,600 youth found that 17 per cent of children aged six to 16 in England had a possible mental health disorder, with a similar rate for adolescents aged 17 to 19.
The results are similar to rates in 2020, but child mental health problems have increased significantly over the past five years, with rates increasing from one in nine in 2017.
Since then, 39 percent of children now aged six to 16 experienced a decline in their mental health between 2017 and 2021, while 22 percent saw an improvement.
Now among youth aged 17 to 23, 53 percent experienced a decline in mental health from 2017 and 15 percent experienced improvement.
Children’s charities today warned that the government should do more to give children the help they need.
Imran Hussain, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Action for Children, said: “These startling figures show the true scale of the mental health crisis facing the NHS in England.
Given the damage to children’s mental health after 18 months of fear, anxiety and disruption in their formative years, long-term low NHS services are now likely to be overwhelmed in the near future.
“We can’t sit back and watch it unfold. Children need support as soon as a problem is identified, and should not be left silent on waiting lists for months, which can further damage their mental health. “
The survey was conducted earlier this year by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the National Center for Social Research and the University of Cambridge and the University of Exeter.
It examined the mental health of youth and asked them their views on family life, education, services and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 3,667 children and young people aged six to 23 years were questioned in 2017 and 2021, so they are representative of all children in England.
NHS Digital’s report looks at individual changes in mental health over time for the same group of children and young people.
Girls now aged 11 to 16 were more likely to experience a decline in mental health than boys of the same age, 43 percent versus 34 percent. This trend was now also seen in people aged 17 to 23, where 61 percent of younger women were more likely to experience a fall than 44 percent of younger men.
The proportion of 11 to 16-year-olds with potential eating problems increased from 7 percent in 2017 to 13 percent in 2021.
Eating disorders charity Beat said the problems needed to be taken seriously.
The Director of Foreign Affairs, Tom Quinn, said: “The increase in the proportion of children and young people reporting potential eating problems in England is worrying, but not sad – we know that demand for eating disorder services and small There has been a significant increase in children presenting even before covid.
“The behaviors and thinking patterns assessed in the survey, such as worrying about eating interfering with their lives, or believing themselves to be overweight, are often an early indicator of an eating disorder and should be taken extremely seriously. .
“It is extremely important that anyone experiencing these behaviors be evaluated and treated as soon as possible, before they have a chance to manifest into something more serious.”
In 2021, more than a quarter of six to 10 year olds and more than a third of 11 to 16 year olds, and more than half of young people aged 17 to 23 were affected by sleep problems on three or more nights. Seven. Across all age groups, the levels of sleep problems were much higher among those with a possible mental disorder.
In 2021, 5 per cent of 11 to 16 year olds and 13 per cent of 17 to 22 year olds reported that they often or always feel lonely.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /