Department for Education. Transforming children and young people's mental health implementation programme. 2023. https//

Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2023. 2023. https//

While we wait for change, this is our role…

02 December 2023

Yet further proof – if any were needed – of the mental health crisis overwhelming our young people. The latest statistics from the NHS tell us that 20.3% of 8 to 16-year-olds have a probable mental health condition–up from 12.1% in 2017 when this research was first carried out.

At primary level, 15.7% of 8, 9 and 10-year-olds have a probable condition, rising to 22.6% of 11 to 16-year-olds.

We do not, perhaps, need to be told these figures. We see them every day in our work with children and young people in schools. We hear about them from teaching staff and other colleagues. We see them in the CAMHS and safeguarding referrals we support.

I have written before about the frustratingly slow roll-out of the government's flagship Mental Health Support Team programme. These new figures justify that frustration. These teams are currently only reaching a third of pupils (Department for Education, 2023). I don't need to tell you how many are falling through the cracks.

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