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YoungMinds responds to NHS figures on children and young people’s mental health

NHS Digital and The Office for National Statistics have published research showing that one in six children and young people had a probable mental health problem in July 2020. Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, comments on these findings.

Released Thursday 22nd October 2020

NHS Digital and The Office for National Statistics have today published research showing that one in six children and young people had a probable mental health problem in July 2020 – a rise from one in nine in 2017.

You can find the full results of the survey on the NHS website.

Commenting on the findings, Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, said:

“This alarming research shows the profound effect that COVID-19 has had on children and young people’s mental health. The pandemic has put a huge strain on parents and carers, which has had a knock-on effect on children, and families that have struggled financially have been particularly badly hit. Among children and young people, anxiety about spreading the virus and isolation during the lockdown have also had a major impact.

“Many young people who are struggling to cope have not had the mental health support they need, in some cases because they have chosen not to look for it in the midst of the pandemic. It’s also deeply worrying that children with a mental health problem were less likely to have received regular support from their school during the lockdown than other children.

“This research must lead to decisive action from the Government. Schools urgently need additional funding to enable them to commission mental health support, and the NHS and charities must have the resources to provide help to all those who need it. With months of uncertainty ahead of us, there is absolutely no room for complacency.”

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