22 November 2018

1 in 8 Under 19s have Mental Health Problems, New Study Shows


The first figures since 2004 evidencing how common mental health problems are among under 18s were published on Thursday. The report, which features the first official statistics to be published for thirteen years, shows that an eighth of under 19s in England have a mental health disorder. 

A random sample of children, their parents and teachers from across England were interviewed. While 5 to 15 year olds were also interviewed in 1999 and 2004 – the latest survey provides England’s first data on the prevalence of mental disorder in 2 to 4 year olds. It also spans into adulthood by covering 17 to 19 year olds.

The figures, based on a survey of 9,117 children and young people, showed that the incidence of disorders rose to one in six for people aged 17 to 19.

Key Findings

  • One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017
  • Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders. Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19 year olds in 2017 (8.1%)
  • Rates of mental disorders increased with age. 5.5% of 2 to 4 year old children experienced a mental disorder, compared to 16.9% of 17 to 19 year olds. Caution is needed, however, when comparing rates between age groups due to differences in data collection. For example, teacher reports were available only for 5 to 16 year olds. Please refer to the Survey Design and Methods Report for full details
  • Data from this survey series reveal a slight increase over time in the prevalence of mental disorder in 5 to 15 year olds (the age-group covered on all surveys in this series). Rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004, to 11.2% in 2017
  • Emotional disorders have become more common in five to 15 year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017. All other types of disorder, such as behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders, have remained similar in prevalence for this age group since 1999

The statistics were collated by NatCen Social Research, the Office for National Statistics and Youthinmind, and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. 

At Newcross, we believe that it's important to look after our mental health at all stages of life. For this reason, mental health training courses are made available to our healthcare team. Our clinical team offers a learning disabilities course which covers some aspect of mental health and also a dementia awareness course. Using external providers we can offer mental health specific training on the following:

  • Depression & Anxiety
  • OCD
  • Phobias
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Paraphrenia
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Self harm
  • Suicide idealtion
  • Self help and empowering the individual.

If you're a healthcare professional interested in expanding your clinical knowledge, join us. Every month we deliver between 150 and 200 courses to over 1,000 Nurses and Healthcare Assistants.