NHS digital has released figures showing that one in eight children and young people aged between five and 19 surveyed in England had a mental disorder.
The graph shows how the type and frequency of mental health disorders differed across age and gender.
Worryingly emotional disorders like depression are now more common in five to 15-year-olds – going from 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017.
5.5% of children aged 2-4 had at least one mental disorder at the time they were surveyed.
These figures illustrate how mental health disorders can occur from early childhood, and that they become more common with age, especially for girls. This shows the importance of intervening early to prevent the development of mental health problems. Providing opportunities to give children early supportive environments may be key for ensuring good mental health for all children and young people.
I hope that Charlie & The Black Dog, the picture book I’m developing for children with depression will help in some way to provide ways to engage with and discuss mental health issues in children.