Please could you send me the national yearly statistics (including by region) on the mental health of children and adolescents? Please include rates of depression and anxiety, number of young people attending A&E/GP with a psychiatric condition, eating disorders.
Thank you for your recent request. We do not collect information on clinically diagnosed cases of depression or on attendance of A&E/GP with psychiatric conditions.
As part of the Measuring National Well-being programme, we report on the “Percentage of those in the UK with some evidence indicating depression or anxiety” (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/datasets/measuringnationalwellbeingdomainsandmeasures).
This is measured through the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and is collected on Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study. GHQ-12 asks respondents 12 questions about their recent feelings. These questions are then scored and added together with the total score ranging from a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 12. A score of four or more indicates that the individual may have symptoms of mild to moderate illness such as anxiety or depression.
This information is provided as percentage of respondents who have a score of 4 or more at the UK level. The most recent time period available is for 2014 – 2015 and is published broken down by 10 year age bands, with the youngest age band being 16 to 24.
Information is not provided for children 15 and under as the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) has not been validated for use in children; it is focused on symptoms experienced by adults and would not be appropriate or informative if used for children.
To measure children’s mental ill-health, a more “child-centric” measure had to be identified. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was designed by Professor Robert Goodman as a behavioural screening questionnaire for use with children aged 2 to 17. It consists of questionnaires administered to the child, a parent and a teacher. The most recent time period available is for 2013 - 2014 and the following release presents this data broken down by sex (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/articles/measuringnationalwellbeing/2015-10-20#what-is-mental-health).
Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study is not carried out by ONS, but the data are available from the UK Data Service (https://discover.ukdataservice.ac.uk/catalogue/?sn=6614&type=Data%20catalogue) under varying licensing agreements.
Information relating to depression is also available from Public Health England (http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile-group/mental-health/profile/common-mental-disorders/data#page/6/gid/8000026/pat/6/par/E12000004/ati/102/are/E06000015/iid/90419/age/240/sex/4) and NHS (http://content.digital.nhs.uk/mentalhealth).