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Social & emotional learning: supporting children and young people’s mental health

There is a widely held view that more and more children are experiencing mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and conduct disorders.

• In 2004 (the last national prevalence survey), nearly 10 per cent of all children and young people aged between 5 and 16 in England and Wales had a diagnosable mental health disorder.

• In 2016, 90 per cent of secondary school headteachers reported that they had seen an increase in rates of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression among their pupils over the previous five years.

• The Children’s Society’s latest research into children’s wellbeing shows that children are less happy than they were in 2010.

• A National Study of Health and Wellbeing (a survey of 9,500 children and young people, conducted by NatCen and ONS on behalf of NHS Digital) is currently underway and expected to report in 2018. The results will give us a more up-to-date picture of the mental health of children and young people.