Family breakdown and the toll on children’s mental health

Jun 25, 2018 by

In December last year the government produced its Green Paper on children’s mental health. The opening paragraph begins with an optimistic note that the state can make a difference. ‘Children with a persistent mental health problem face unequal chances in life. This is one of the burning injustices of our time.’

Alas, it’s all downhill thereafter: the scale of the problem, the consequences of the problem, and the difficulty of treating the problem make depressing reading.

Treating the problem is one thing. But as the select committee on education, health and social care noted in its scathing review last month, although the role of families was acknowledged, there was no attempt to translate that into prevention, i.e. trying to control or reduce the demand for services.

To get an idea of the scale of children’s mental health problems, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) finds that one in eight 10-15-year-olds reports symptoms of mental ill-health. This has risen over time, as shown by the seven-yearly NHS Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey. This shows a rise in anxiety among 16-24-year-olds from 1993 onwards but especially between 2007 and 2014 for women.

Read here


Related Posts


Share This