Understanding the mental health landscape in England

Research shows that at any given time, 1 in 6 people aged 16 to 64 in England will be experiencing a common mental health problem.

That means that it is very likely we each know someone with a mental health condition – whether it is a family member, colleague, pupil or friend.

Children’s mental health in England

Mental ill health does not just affect adults in England. Information from NHS England tells us that 1 in 8 five to 19-year-olds had at least one ‘mental disorder’ when assessed in 2017. NHS England splits these disorders into four broad categories – emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders.

Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by five to 19-year-olds.

Emotional disorders include:

  • anxiety disorders (characterised by fear and worry)
  • depressive disorders (characterised by sadness, loss of interest and energy, and low self-esteem)
  • mania and bipolar affective disorder

Among primary school children, one in 10 five to 10-year-olds had a mental disorder when assessed in 2017, with boys about as twice as likely to be experiencing a mental disorder than girls.

Children's mental health and schools

Children with mental health conditions are more likely to find school difficult. For example, children with a mental health condition are 7.7% more likely to play truant than children without a mental health condition.

In England, 6.8% of children with a mental disorder have been excluded from school, compared to 0.5% of children without. It is estimated that one in two children in alternative provision settings have a mental health need.

Resources

Filter by:
Supporting resources for whole-school framework

Supporting resources for whole-school framework

This set of resources complements the whole school framework for emotional wellbeing and mental...

View resource
  • National Children's Bureau

    Author
  • Save
Whole-school framework for mental health

Whole-school framework for mental health

A whole-school framework for emotional wellbeing and mental health: a self-assessment and...

View resource
  • National Children's Bureau

    Author
  • Save
Getting to know me - worksheet for ages 4 to 7

Getting to know me - worksheet for ages 4 to 7

Use this “Getting to know me” activity with your primary school class at the start of the school...

View resource
Getting to know me - worksheet for ages 7 to 11

Getting to know me - worksheet for ages 7 to 11

This activity allows pupils to set goals for the future academic year, reflect on themselves, their...

View resource