So i was browsing the internet in preparation for watching BBC Three’s new TV show about mental illness, emotively titled “Diaries of a Broken Mind”, and came across these upsetting figures. I think it is a sad reflection of modern society that our children seem to be suffering and not receiving adequate treatment.
- 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – that is around three children in every class (1).
- Between 1 in every 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm (2).
- There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self harm. Over the last ten years this figure has increased by 68% (3).
- More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time (4).
- Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression (5).
- Over 8,000 children aged under 10 years old suffer from severe depression (6).
- 72% of children in care have behavioural or emotional problems – these are some of the most vulnerable people in our society (7).
- 95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. Many of them are struggling with more than one disorder (8).
- The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s (9).
- The proportion of young people aged 15-16 with a conduct disorder more than doubled between 1974 and 1999 (10).
1 Green, H., McGinnity, A., Meltzer, H., et al. (2005). Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain 2004. London: Palgrave.
2 Mental Health Foundation (2006). Truth hurts: report of the National Inquiry into self-harm among young people. London: Mental Health Foundation
3 YoungMinds (2011) 100,000 children and young people could be hospitalised due to self-harm by 2020 warns YoungMinds. London: YoungMinds.
4 Kim-Cohen, J., Caspi, A., Moffitt, TE., et al (2003): Prior juvenile diagnoses in adults with mental disorder. Archives of general psychiatry, Vol 60, pp.709-717.
5 Green, H., McGinnity, A., Meltzer, H., et al. (2005). Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain 2004. London: Palgrave.
6 Green, H., McGinnity, A., Meltzer, H., et al. (2005). Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain 2004. London: Palgrave.
7 Sempik, J. et al. (2008) Emotional and behavioural difficulties of children and young people at entry into care. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 13 (2), pp. 221-233.
8 Office for National Statistics (1997): Psychiatric morbidity among young offenders in England and Wales. London: Office for National Statistics.
9 Nuffield Foundation (2013) Social trends and mental health: introducing the main findings. London: Nuffield Foundation.
10 Collishaw, S. et al. (2004) Time trends in adolescent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45:8, pp 1350–1362.