(UK) 'Epidemic of anxiety' among children; more kids seeing psychiatrists

Dec 1, 2017, UK Telegraph: Soaring numbers of children seeing psychiatrists amid anxiety epidemic The number of young children seeing psychiatrists has risen by a third amid an ‘epidemic of anxiety’ official figures show. A new report shows soaring numbers of children receiving psychiatric treatment - with a 31 per cent rise in one year among those aged nine and under. Experts said children were struggling to cope with mounting levels of anxiety, bullying and depression, fuelled by social media. The analysis by the Children’s Commissioner comes as the Government prepares to publish a green paper on children’s mental health. Ministers are expected to say therapists should be sent into schools, to deal with a rising tide of anxiety. Every school will be told to have a designated teacher in charge of mental health, with new targets to cut NHS waiting times. … The new analysis by the Children’s Commissioner shows a total of 328,000 NHS psychiatry outpatient appointments for children in 2016/17 - a rise from 241,000 the year before. The steepest rise - of 31 per cent - was among those aged nine and under, with more than 60,000 such appointments in 2016/17, the NHS Digital statistics show. The figures show particular problems among young boys, which made up 43,721 appointments among this age group, up from 31,555 the previous year. While the number of appointments for girls of this age was lower, with 17,534 cases last year, the rise was sharper, from 11,547 the year before. Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said the number of children receiving treatment was just a “fraction” of the numbers in need of it. “These figures show the need for mental health services amongst children in England is growing. I am particularly concerned to see an increase amongst very young children,” she said.