Official NHS data reveals rise in mental health issues among children
November 23, 2018
By: Jenna Rachid
Official data collected by NHS Digital has revealed a rise in the prevalence of mental health issues among children and young people in England.
The comprehensive survey, the first of its kind carried out in more than 13 years, revealed that 12.8% of 5-19 year olds are now dealing with a mental health ‘disorder’ of some kind – more than one in eight.
Data from the survey also revealed an increase over time in the prevalence of mental ‘disorders’ in 5 to 15 year olds – the age-group covered in all the comparable surveys to date. This rose from 9.7% in 1999 to 10.1% in 2004, and finally to 11.2% in the most recent figures.
The report also showed that:
More than half of young women with a disorder at the time of the interview also reported having self-harmed or made a suicide attempt
25.5% of 11 to 16 year olds with a disorder reported self-harm or suicide attempts
One in four children with a disorder had no contact with either professional service or informal support in relation to worries about their mental health
The findings came as the office of the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, published research revealing that nearly fifteen times as much is spent on adult mental health as is on child mental health.
Responding to the publication of the data, UKCP Chief Executive Professor Sarah Niblock said: ‘Children’s mental health services have long been critically underfunded – the real “Cinderella” of the NHS. Today’s prevalence figures reinforce just how scandalous this oversight has been.’
She added: ‘Given the scale of need demonstrated by today’s figures, it is clearly important that the government provides for as many children as possible. However, this cannot come at the cost of the quality of provision. It is simply vital that a proper range of treatments are available to children in need – including highly specialised interventions for highly complex cases.
‘We urge the government to keep this firmly in mind moving forward, to ensure that the much-needed investment in our children leaves no one behind.’
The number of young problem gamblers has quadrupled in two years, with blame falling on TV ads and smartphone apps, the Guardian reports.
The alarming figures came to light after a Gambling Commission audit revealed that 450,000 children gamble regularly. The audit also uncovered that 70,000 young people were at risk of developing the addiction.
The Church of England said the findings were ‘deeply troubling.’
The bishop of St Albans, The Right Reverend Alan Smith, believes the findings indicate a ‘generational scandal.’
Smith says that better measures need to be put in place to protect young people from the gambling industry.
He said: ‘However much the gambling industry says it is not targeting the young, it is clear that a significant minority of teenagers are still being drawn into gambling and it is no coincidence that one in six children have seen gambling adverts on social media.’
‘The world has changed since 2005 when the gambling sector was deregulated and so, sadly, has gambling.’
‘Therefore, government, local authorities, schools, the private and the charitable sector need to study these findings carefully and put in place preventative measures to safeguard young people.’
Statistics suggest that millennials are having less sex then previous generations, the Metro reports.
A study by San Diego State University found that 15% of millennials born in the 1990s had no sexual partners since turning 18, compared to 6% of ‘Generation Xer’s’.
UKCP psychotherapist Hilda Burke told the Metro that factors outside the bedroom ‘can impact what goes on within it.’
She said: ‘Overwork, stress, anxiety, uncertainty over the future, even poor diet and lack of exercise can all play a part in suppressing libido.’
Burke also stresses the impact of technology, saying: ‘digital devices are now playing a massive part. Most of the couples I work with – who range in age from 20-50 – keep their phones in the bedroom and usually close to or in the bed.
‘It’s the biggest distraction there is from intimacy nowadays.’
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