Mental health among children and young people


The mental health spectrum

At any one time, a child or young person may be anywhere on a spectrum between being healthy and unwell. Many children move along the spectrum at different times.

1,000 Children: a model for local commissioners

Centre for Mental Health aims to change people’s lives by applying research evidence to everyday practice. We’ve developed this model to help local authorities, schools and health service scommissioners to identify the different levels and types of mental health support they need to offer to children and young people in their communities.

This infographic shows what kind of support is needed among a population of 1,000 children to have the best possible start in life. It demonstrates that all children can benefit from universal programmes that are shown to promote good mental health and resilience.

Of those 1,000 children, at any one time:

  • About 150 have a high risk of poor mental health and may need extra help to prevent later problems;
  • A further 70 will have a common diagnosable problem for which they need effective help;
  • 17 will have a serious problem needing specialist treatment ;
  • One will have a very serious condition that requires hospital care.

Every community is different, and will have different assets and issues. Planners and commissioners will have a greater in-depth knowledge of the needs of the children they serve and the communities they live in. This infographic is, however, intended to be a guide to indicate the likely levels of need and the range of services that can help children to enjoy better mental health and a brighter future.

How many children are experiencing a mental health problem at any one time?

The latest data from NHS Digital shows that one in six children has a mental health problem. This is an alarming rise from one in ten in 2004 and one in nine in 2017.

Learn more about mental health among children and young people in our handy factsheet.

Last modified
19/01/2022 - 10:09

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