The health service says that the prevalence of disease conditions among the age group increased from 17 percent in 2021 to 25.7 percent this year.
There has also been a significant increase in the number of children between the ages of seven and 16 with a possible mental health problem since last year, to 18 percent from 12 last year.
Mental health charities Mind and Rethink warn Government Children’s mental health is now a “national emergency”.
The numbers come nextThe Independent She reported on the mounting crisis in mental health services, with healthcare leaders warning that the NHS did not have the capacity to meet demand.
Brian Dow, Rethink’s vice president of mental illness, said: “Today’s news that the number of young people suffering from mental illness has risen again should wake the government from its slumber.
“In the past few years, the nation’s mental health has suffered the brunt of the pandemic and a spiraling cost of living crisis, yet the government appears to believe that the earlier plan and associated funding will somehow meet the scale of the challenge.”
He said the UK was heading towards a “public health crisis” from which it could take decades to recover and urged the government to treat the situation as an emergency.
Rethink has called on the government to set up a national task force in response to the state of mental health services.
An annual report on the prevalence of mental health in children and young people, published on Tuesday by NHS Digital, showed that the ‘likely’ mental health problems among those aged 7-10 were nearly twice as high as among boys, at 19 per cent, as in girls in 10 percent.
However, among 17 to 24-year-olds, an estimated one-third of young women have the disorder compared to 13 percent of young men in this age group.
The estimates, which were based on a sample of 2,866 children and young adults, found that children with a potential mental health problem were more likely to live in a household with financial difficulties.
Of children ages seven to 22 with a possible mental disorder, 14 percent reported living in a home unable to buy enough food or having used a food bank this year. This compares to 2 percent of those without possible mental disorders.
Sophie Corlett, interim chair of the charity Mind, said the figures were “extremely concerning” and reflected the disruptions to young people’s lives during the pandemic.
She said: We are also seeing cost-of-living losses on young people with mental health issues, who were seven times more likely than peers without mental health issues to use food banks or have experienced food insecurity in the past year.
“Despite the need for support to continue to rise, young people continue to face an agonizing wait in a system that cannot keep up with demand, and the UK Government’s response so far has not been good enough.
The UK government will fail a generation unless it prioritizes investment in mental health services for young people, funding youth mental health centers specifically.
“The government can no longer take sides with young people and their families, who need to prioritize the crisis in young people’s mental health as a national emergency issue.”
The results also looked at specific issues such as eating disorders and found that two-thirds of people ages 17-19 and 20-23 had a possible problem with eating.
The Beat’s director of external affairs for eating disorder charity, Tom Quinn, said: “Sadly, the pandemic has had a huge impact on people with eating disorders, with many experiencing higher levels of stress, isolation and anxiety since the pandemic began.”
DHSC Minister for Mental Health Maria Caulfield said: “These figures highlight how important it is that we do everything we can to support our children and young people with their mental health.”
She said the government had promised in 2019 to invest an additional £2.3 billion a year in mental health services and had committed to increasing the number of mental health teams in schools to 400, covering 3 million children, by April 2023.