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Mental health disorders increasing in young people

NHS England conducted a survey consisting of 2,866 children and young people who had taken part in similar surveys since 2017

New NHS survey shows that in 2022, 22% of 17-24 year olds have a probable mental disorder.

NHS England conducted a survey consisting of 2,866 children and young people who had taken part in similar surveys since 2017. The ages in the survey ranged from 7-24 years.

By comparing results from previous years, it found that the rate of people aged 17-19 years old with a probable mental disorder had risen to one in four in 2022.

The rate was one in ten, five years ago.

Olly Parker, head of external affairs at charity YoungMinds responded to the figures saying: “month on month we see the crisis for young people continue to deepen, with referrals for treatment reaching record breaking highs and thousands of young people facing an agonizing wait for help.”

The survey found that 34.9% of people aged 17-23 had seeked help from health services.

This survey comes as health service leaders warn that NHS mental health services are under unsustainable pressure.

The NHS Confederation has said that NHS mental health services are being left to fail as patients and service users are routinely struggling to access urgent and routine care.

They reported a 16% increase in people using NHS mental health services and a 30% increase in under 18s, which is having knock-on effects across the NHS.

For example, 16,000 adults and 20,000 children needing help from community NHS mental health services but being unable to access this.

“There is no hiding from the fact that demand for mental health services is rising very rapidly and we are seeing a clear impact not just on mental health organisations and their staff but across the NHS and care system as a whole,” said Ifti Majid, chair of the mental health network at the NHS Confederation.

Subsequently, the Centre for Mental Health and NHS Confederation have released a report where they outline the key elements of a new plan for mental health.

They believe a ten-year cross government plan for mental health is vital.

“We know this vision can become a reality, because every element of it is already happening somewhere in the country. But to make it a reality for everyone, we need sustained and sufficient investment and a genuine commitment to radical reform of what services offer and how they work,” said Andy Bell, chief executive of Centre for Mental Health.