Children and young people: statistics

We take a life-course approach to mental health because good mental health begins in infancy.

  • 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.1
  • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.2 
  • 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem3, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.4

Browse all of the mental health statistics

Graphic of stats about children and young people
Our 2016 study 'The Fundamental Facts about Mental Health' follows a comprehensive summary of mental health research, providing a unique handbook of key facts and figures, covering all key areas of mental health.
Learn more

Children and young people: A-Z Topics

Learn more about how mental health affects children and young people on our dedicated page on the topic.
Read more
Children playing together, sat at desks

References

WHO (2003). Caring for children and adolescents with mental disorders: Setting WHO directions. [online] Geneva: World Health Organization. Available at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/en/785.pdf [Accessed 14 Sep. 2015].

Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. (2005). Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62 (6) pp. 593-602. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.62.6.593.

Green,H., Mcginnity, A., Meltzer, Ford, T., Goodman,R. 2005 Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain: 2004. Office for National Statistics.

Children’s Society (2008) The Good Childhood Inquiry: health research evidence. London: Children’s Society.