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Children's mental health statistics

Young people have been great at opening up conversations about mental health. Many talk openly on social media about personal struggles. They've moved society forward, reduced the stigma surrounding mental health and made it a public issue. 

We still don't know the exact number of children battling issues like anxiety and depression, but here are some statistics about mental health that help tell the story.

mental health statistics 2020

1 in 6

children aged 5-16 likely to have a mental health problem

50%

of all mental health problems start by the age of 14

introduction to mental health

young boy blowing bubbles

How many young people have a mental health issue?

Children and young people have a lot going on in their lives. They battle with identity, friendships, belonging. For Generation Z or 'Generation Covid', it's even tougher.

They've had to deal with school closures, not seeing friends, youth unemployment, climate crisis, uncertain futures. In the last three years, the likelihood of young people having a mental health problem has increased by 50%.

Now, five children in a classroom of 30 are likely to have a mental health problem.

Given the prevalence of mental health problems in children and young people, it's no surprise that psychotherapists on TikTok have amassed millions of followers and likes over the past year.

mental health statistics

75%

of young people with mental health problems aren't getting the help they need

34%

of those who do get referred into NHS services are not accepted into treatment

young people not getting mental health treatment

Picking up the slack

As the number of young people needing mental support shoots up, many are forced to find their own way of coping. Even with a referral into NHS mental health services, many don’t go on to get treated.

Younger generations are forced to adapt. Young people in our well-being services go out of their way to support others who might not have access to help. They share their experiences and suggest activities to help with things like stress and anxiety.

We’ve seen it on social media too. Through poems on Instagram to short relatable videos on TikTok, Generation Z have made mental health accessible and more approachable for people their age going through similar things. But they shouldn’t have to pick up society’s slack.

girl looks happily into the distance

gender mental health differences

17 to 22

year old women are the group most at risk of developing a mental health problem

70%

of the young people we work with need help with their mental health and well-being

Stories behind the statistics of mental health

Most of the young people we work with want to improve their mental health. They have a lot going on in their lives and just want someone to talk to, to give them hope.

Our well-being drop-ins offer a place to talk about relationships, build confidence, learn how to cope with stress and anxiety. Our BEAM and Pause services helped over 3,400 young people last year and we continue to be there for those who need to talk about their emotional health and well-being. No waiting lists.  

The most important mental health fact is that young people have the resilience to cope with anything. They just need the right support. At the right time. We continue to work to make children's well-being a priority and we listen to what young people say:

The world should open up and help people with mental health