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Mental health issues missed in children

25th March 2014

MindEd, a new website, funded by the Department of Health, is being launched to raise awareness of mental health issues in children.

Mental HealthIt is aimed at helping adults who work with children, including teachers, sports coaches, and social workers, to spot warning signs.

Currently, more than 850,000 children in the UK have a mental health problem; however, a recent survey has concluded that the figure could be considerably higher.

2,100 adults were surveyed:

  • One third were unsure of signs of depression in children
  • Half would be worried about saying anything if they did suspect there was a problem
  • Two thirds would back extra government investment in children's mental health services to equip professionals with the skill to identify and treat these children earlier

Care Minister Norman Lamb said: "Spotting the signs of mental health problems early in children and young people is essential to prevent problems from escalating and continuing into adulthood.

"That's why we have invested £3m in MindEd - so that people working with children […] can recognise when a child needs help and make sure they get it."

Dr Raphael Kelvin, child psychiatrist and clinical lead for the MindEd programme, said:  "Half of all diagnosable mental health conditions start before the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 21, so identifying children at the earliest opportunity is crucial in setting them on the best path in life.

"Investing in early intervention is crucial - not doing so comes at a high price for those battling a mental health condition, and also costs the economy vast sums of money in lost education, training, jobs, and often, through crime."


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