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1 in 10 children in UK has a mental health disorder. “They should have more time for well-being”

One in 10 children under the age of 16 have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, a new report of the Health and Education Committees reveals, outlining that financial pressures are restricting the provision of mental health services in schools and colleges.

The report also found that half of all adult mental health cases start before the age of 15.

These results come in the context of schools and colleges struggling to provide mental health services for pupils, as MPs said.


The Health and Education Committees admits that this is a time when there is growing concern about the state of mental ill health among youngsters.

“With half of all mental illness starting before the age of 15, and three quarters by aged 18, the Government and educators must ensure sufficient time is allowed for activities in schools and colleges that develop the life-long skills children and young people need to support their well-being.” said Dr Sarah Wollaston, chair of the Commons Health Committee.

Children as young as six feel lonely and isolated

“Schools and colleges have a front line role in tackling mental ill health and promoting well-being among children and young people. We have heard, however, that financial pressures are restricting their ability to run services. Schools and colleges must be well resourced to provide on-site support and make referrals where necessary.”

The Committees claim that an increasing number of education providers are having to cut back on mental health services, such as in-school counsellors, despite a growing prevalence of mental ill health among children and young people.

“Schools contribute enormousluy to the well-being of their children with the effects lasting many years.With the incidence of stress and anxiety amongst pupils rising, promoting well-being has the potential to enable them to stay well and to develop the skills needed to deal with stress and anxiety and to ‘bounce back’ from set-backs. It can also help identify problems that may become more serious if not addressed.” said Lord Layard, Director of the Well-being Programme at the London School of Economics.

Also, the authors of the study recommend, social media providers must not be allowed to duck their responsibilities for harmful content, which affects children and young people’s online safety and well-being.


Claire Reynolds