NHS warning: 23% of 11 to 16-year-olds have probable mental health condition

More than 1 in 5 children and young people in England aged 8 to 16 had a probable mental health disorder in 2023, with prevalence rising as pupils get older, NHS figures reveal.
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The research shows that prevalence in 2023 has increased slightly when compared to 2022 (20.3% compared to 18%), but is notably higher than in 2017 when 12.1% of 7 to 16-year-olds were judged to have probable mental health conditions.

Breaking down secondary and primary age groups, the figures shows that 22.6% of 11 to 16-year-olds are considered to have a probable mental health condition compared to 15.7% of 8, 9 and 10-year-olds.

At ages 17 to 19, 23.3% have a probable mental health condition. This is down from 25.7% in 2022 but still notably higher than in 2017 (10.1%).

The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2023 report has been published this week by NHS England. The annual study first began in 2017 and this year’s iteration involved responses from 2,370 children and young people who also took part in the 2017 research.

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