Number of young people seeking mental health help increases

10,000 people under 18 years of age from South Yorkshire were registered as having used mental health services, an annual mental health report from the NHS has shown.

Margaret Lewis, CEO of Sheffield Mind, said that this year has seen a higher number of people coming to the charity for help.

Ms Lewis said that although this could be due to an increased openness in talking about mental health issues, it could also be because of more stress in our daily lives.

She expressed disappointment in the fact that people in Sheffield who are already receiving mental health support are seeing their services reduced or cut all together.

“I think the message for the NHS is we need to be creative and we need to all be working together and looking at what we can offer people,” she said.

This was the first time that the annual mental health report has included children and young people in their studies.

The report also says total number of people using mental health, autism and learning disability services has risen by 10% over the last year.

The number of people seeking help for mental health has reached 2.6 million in the last year, this adds up to almost 5% of the total population.

These figures are 36% more than in 2014-15. Despite this, the number of people admitted to hospital has gone down by 30%.

21% of people in contact with these mental health services were under 18 years of age.

Ms Lewis said, “In mental health over the last few years there has been a lot of pressure on governments to recognise this concept of parity of esteem. This idea that mental health is as important as physical health and that also there isn’t that complete dividing line between the two, that their connected. So the government needs to acknowledge the  importance of funding mental health properly.  Although there’s been talk of more money going into mental health we need to see it at ground level.”

The report showed more women under the age of 18 are receiving secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services than men in the last year.

328,000 people under the age of 14 were in contact with NHS funded secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services in the past year. This means that they were referred to a specialist by a doctor to be treated for such illnesses.