Mental Illness: Children:Written question - HL2034

Q
Asked by Lord Ouseley
Asked on: 07 September 2015
Department of Health
Mental Illness: Children
Lords
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment has been made of the mental health problems being experienced by children in the United Kingdom; and what action they plan to take, if any, to reduce the number of children aged under 10 who suffer from severe depression.
A
Answered by: Lord Prior of Brampton
Answered on: 16 September 2015

The last prevalence survey, published in 2004, found that around 10% of children were suffering from a diagnosable medical condition. Around one in a thousand children was a child aged under 10 suffering from severe depression. Based on these figures, the charity Young Minds has estimated that around 8,000 children aged under 10 suffer from severe depression.

This Government is committed to improving children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing as a major priority. All clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have been asked to work with their local partners to develop plans to transform their offer through the development of local transformation plans. These plans, alongside existing investment, should include the full spectrum of interventions: from prevention and resilience building, to support and care for existing and emerging mental health problems, as well as transitions between services and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable. This local transformation will be supported by a national programme of work, which includes piloting single points of contact so that young people have access to mental health advice and support in schools and the extension and expansion of the Children and Young People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme.

Additionally, the Department is commissioning a new comprehensive prevalence survey of children and young people’s mental health. The programme is on track to announce a contractor in autumn 2015, and final publication is expected in 2018. The findings of the survey will help identify where best to target improvements.

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