Mental ill-health rises sharply among year 12 and 13 students

A study involving 13,000 year 12 and 13 students has concluded that almost half are above the threshold for “probable mental ill health” and one in five has self-harmed.
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The paper, published by the COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities (COSMO) study, warns that incidence of poor mental health among 16 and 17-year-olds has increased by more than a quarter since similar research in 2017.

The study (Holt-White et al, 2022) investigated the mental health and wellbeing of 13,000 young people who were in year 11 in 2021. They were recruited from across 500 schools in England and had been due to take their GCSEs in 2021. Most of them have recently begun year 13.

It finds that 44% of the 16 to 17-year-olds reported elevated psychological distress and met the threshold for “probable mental ill health”. This is up from 35% recorded in similar research in 2017, and 23% in 2007.

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