In February we marked Children’s Mental Health Week – a week dedicated to equipping children with the tools to maintain good mental health. Mental health and the provision of services to support children and young people with mental health disorders are at the forefront of public health policy, having been “dangerously disregarded as secondary to physical health”, according to the Prime Minister. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also pledged to improve children’s mental health services. Initiatives like Children’s Mental Health Week are great ways of raising awareness to continue this improvement.
So what do we know about children’s mental health, and the provision of these services, at the moment?
The most recent comprehensive survey data we have on young people’s mental health is from 2004 when it was found that around one in ten young people aged between five and 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental disorder.<