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.