Mental Health and Early Intervention

Mental health is very much in the spotlight at the moment and in particular it seems that young people are presenting with various levels of neuroses.  And often at very young ages.

It would seem that funding cuts will have a huge impact on early intervention which can prevent more complex problems arising and that other agencies, both voluntary and private, will have a part to play in helping young people with managing their own wellbeing, understanding, managing and regulating their own emotions, and ability to self-soothe.

Some disturbing statistics:
• 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder – that is around three children in every class
• Between 1 in every 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm
• There has been a big increase in the number of young people being admitted to hospital because of self-harm. Over the last ten years this figure has increased
by 68%
• More than half of all adults with mental health problems were diagnosed in childhood. Less than half were treated appropriately at the time
• Nearly 80,000 children and young people suffer from severe depression
• Over 8,000 children aged under 10 years old suffer from severe depression
• 72% of children in care have behavioural or emotional problems – these are some of the most vulnerable people in our society
• 95% of imprisoned young offenders have a mental health disorder. Many of them are struggling with more than one disorder
• The number of young people aged 15-16 with depression nearly doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s The proportion of young people aged 15-16 with a conduct disorder more than doubled between 1974 and 1999

(Source –

• Boys are more vulnerable than girls; they are also more likely to commit suicide when they are older
• The World Health Organisation predicts a 50 percent rise in the level of child mental disorders by 2020. This would put them in the top five most common
causes of childhood disability, sickness and death
• Inner city children are twice as likely to suffer as rural ones. Black youngsters have the highest rate of any ethnic group
• Anxiety and phobias are among the most common childhood mental health problems
• In a typical primary school, teachers will be dealing with 12 pupils displaying conduct disorder (aggressive, antisocial behaviour), such disorders appearing
between the ages of 5 and 16. A third of affected children also have reading difficulties
• In a typical 250-puil primary school, 4 children will have phobias, 3 will have anxiety disorders, 1 will be seriously depressed, 12 will have serious
behaviour problems and 4 will be hyperactive
• According to Young Minds, many more will be suffering distress that may develop into a diagnosable disorder unless they receive help
(source: TES magazine)

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