Growing crisis in children’s mental health

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Close to a quarter of a million children and young people are receiving help from NHS mental health services in England, new figures show.

The Guardian has revealed data from NHS Digital, covering 60% of the country’s mental health trusts, that show in June this year 235,189 people aged 18 and under were receiving specialist care for psychological and psychiatric problems. Of these, 11,849 were aged 5 and under, 53,659 were between the ages of 6 and 10, just over 100,000 were aged 11 to 15, and 69,505 were aged 16 to 18.

Experts say growing pressures on young people – including academic, social and economic pressures – are to blame for the increasing burden of mental illness in school-age children and young adults.

Responding to the figures, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the government was funding an expansion of mental health services as part of the £1.4 billion pledged for improved support for troubled children.

He said: ‘Tackling the problems of mental ill health in children and young people is a priority for this government and I welcome the Guardian’s focus on this impor...