Why young people’s mental health?

In 2022, 22% of  young people aged 17-24 in England had a probable mental health disorder.

The rate of probable mental health disorders among young people has more than doubled in the last 5 years according to the NHS Mental Health and Young People Survey (2022).

Referrals to children’s mental health services (CAMHS) have risen 53% from 2019 to 2022 - that’s 1.24 million under 18s.

The majority of these young people are unable to access help from CAMHS/NHS in a timely manner or are unwilling to do so. Many receive no support whatsoever. NHS mental health services for young people are simply overwhelmed by the demand.

Three quarters of mental health difficulties occur before the age of 24 and half by the age of 14. Research shows that unless properly handled at a young age, many of these young people will go on to have life long mental health challenges.

The role of social and environmental factors contributing to health difficulties, both physical and mental, is widely acknowledged.

There are rising cases of depression, anxiety, addiction, self-harming and eating disorders in young people. These can be attributed to increasing feelings of loneliness, isolation and disconnection driven by the pressure and rapid pace of technological and societal change.

Furthemore, young people from the lowest socio-economic band are three times more likely to suffer with mental illness than a peer from the highest socio-economic band.

Social interventions can support young people who otherwise would not have engaged with traditional therapy or been unable to access it.


Of young people aged 17-24 in the England had a  probable mental health disorder in 2022
(NHS Digital)


Referrals to children’s mental health services in England have risen 53% from 2019 to 2022 - that’s 1.24 million under 18s
(NHS Digital)


Of under 18s do not reveive any treatment
(Children’s Commissioner)

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


There is growing evidence that non-pharmaceutical interventions, known as social interventions or social prescribing, can have a huge benefit on people’s health and wellbeing.