Loneliness, sleeping problems and eating disorders drive mental health crisis

Worrying levels of loneliness and sleep problems as well as rising incidence of eating disorders are feeding a wellbeing crisis that has left an estimated one in six young people with a probable mental health disorder.

The latest NHS mental health survey research has identified a sharp rise in eating disorders as well as links between mental health and things like poverty, social media, and school absence.

The latest findings (NHS, 2021) show that 17 per cent (roughly one in six) children aged six to 16 in England have a probable mental health disorder.

This is a similar rate to last year’s survey findings, but an increase from 2017 when the figure was 12 per cent – or roughly one in nine.

It is a similar picture for 17 to 19-year-olds. In both 2021 and 2020 the research shows that 17 per cent – or one in six – had a probable mental health disorder. This is up from 10 per cent (one in 10) in 2017.

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