26th March 2019

EPI response to NHS Digital report on children’s mental health

Today, NHS Digital have published a new report on the mental health of children and young people in England. The report examines the drivers associated with mental disorders among different age groups.


Responding to the NHS Digital report, Whitney Crenna-Jennings, Senior Researcher for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Inclusion at the Education Policy Institute (EPI), said:

“These findings are a timely reminder that children from vulnerable families are the most likely to experience mental illness and difficulties. The government must move beyond a reactive strategy towards a preventative approach that addresses the underlying drivers of mental ill-health”.

“Without robust interventions that tackle socio-economic disadvantage and family health and well-being, the same groups of vulnerable children and young people will continue to be at risk”.



1. NHS Digital’s report, ‘Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017: Predictors of mental disorders‘, was published at 9:30 on 26th March 2019. It follows the November report, which found that one in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19 year olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017.

2. EPI’s most recent research on children and young people’s mental health includes the October 2018 report, ‘Access to children and young people’s mental health services – 2018‘. The report found that the number of referrals to specialist children’s mental health services has increased by 26 per cent over the last five years.