Mental health services for children and young people Contents


One in eight five to 19 year olds are thought to have a diagnosable mental health condition. According to a recent NHS survey, the number of five to 15 year olds with a mental disorder has increased over time: rising from 9.7% in 1999 and 10.1% in 2004 to 11.2% in 2017. Mental health issues affect the life chances of individuals in many ways, including their physical health, education and work prospects. The Department of Health & Social Care (the Department) is responsible for mental health policy. NHS England oversees the commissioning of NHS-funded services, either directly or through local clinical commissioning groups. In 2017–18 NHS England and local groups spent around £1 billion on children and young people’s mental health services. A range of other bodies—including in schools, public health, local authorities, social care and youth justice services—also have an important role to play in supporting children and young people’s mental health. Launched in March 2015, Future in Mind is the government’s cross-departmental vision for children and young people’s mental health services and support. Currently, a number of programmes take forward these ambitions, including: the NHS’s Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (the Forward View); the accompanying workforce development programme Stepping Forward to 2020/21 (Stepping Forward), led by Health Education England; and joint work by the Department and the Department for Education in response to Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper (the Green Paper).

Published: 11 January 2019