Science and maths never fail us. We might fail science and maths in exams at school, but they won’t fail us. This is why during Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, MQ would like to offer you some key facts and stats – solid evidence – about children’s mental health in the UK right now.
- 75% of mental health problems start before adulthood.
- 50% of lifetime mental health problems start before the age of 14.
- 1 in 6 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder. That’s 5 in every classroom.
- Spending by local authorities on early intervention services for children and young people was cut by 50% between 2010/11 and 2020/217.
- Young people are on average less happy with their life than ten years ago.
- NHS figures show 733,000 children and young people were in contact with mental health services in the 2021-22 financial year, compared with 398,000 in 2018-19.
- The number of referrals to CAMHS has more than doubled since 2019.
- 1 in 5 referrals to CAMHS are turned away with no signposting to alternative sources of support.
- There is on average a 10-year delay between young people experiencing their first symptoms and receiving help. 7 out of 10 children are not receiving help early enough.
- Children who have experienced traumatic events or who have a mental health issue are more likely to be criminally exploited or be a victim of child sexual exploitation.
- 7 out of 10 children who receive a custodial sentence have an identified mental health need.
- The Secretary of State for Health and Social care, when asked what plans there are to bring forward legislative proposals on early intervention measures to help safeguard the mental health and wellbeing of young people said “There are no plans to do so.”
When more than £2 billion is spent annually on social care for people with mental health problems with the wider cost estimated at nearly £118 billion across the UK, early intervention is not only sensible to improve individual happiness and well-being but also to save our country money.
That is why MQ is calling for the Mental Health Bill to include legislation regarding early intervention for the mental health of children.