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Mental health crisis: Rise in teenage suicides 'alarming'

An “alarming” rise in teenage suicide rates and record-breaking CAMHS referrals have sparked calls for ring-fenced mental health funding for schools and the NHS.

Suicide rates among young people aged 15 to 19 in England rose by 35% from 2020 to 2021 according to new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS, 2022).

The data has been analysed by mental health charity YoungMinds. In 2020, 147 young people aged 15 to 19 in England took their own lives. This rose to 198 in 2021. This is the highest number in more than 30 years.

It comes as the latest NHS figures show that 2022 is on course to see the highest ever number of referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Figures to date show the number of under-18s needing NHS treatment for mental health problems is 23% higher than at the same point last year. More than 241,000 young people were referred to the NHS in the first three months of 2022, which was already half of the total figure referred in the whole of last year.

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