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30 Sep 2021

The danger of creating a “lost and lonely generation”

As many as one in six children in England has a probable mental disorder, according to a report by NHS Digital published today.

Girls were especially affected, with nearly 40% of children aged 6-16 and half of 17-23 year olds saying their mental health had become worse over the last year (see Covid: Children’s mental health has not improved since lockdown – BBC News).

The overall figure has not improved since the lockdowns of last year, and SANE continues to campaign for better access to specialist services and reduced waiting times for those in need of support and treatment.

A lost and lonely generation

Marjorie Wallace, SANE’s chief executive, said today in response to the report:

“SANE is deeply concerned that the number of children experiencing mental health problems remains so high, especially amongst girls.

“Children’s mental health services are desperately overstretched, with long waiting times for treatment, while the pandemic has only made things worse for those young people already suffering from mental ill-health.

“Meanwhile, many of the factors that may be contributing to these stark and troubling figures, such as the impact of social media on both girls and boys, remain largely unaddressed.

“We are in danger of creating a lost and lonely generation, disconnected from themselves, their families and friends.”

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