#one in

Why young people’s mental health?

In the UK, one in eight children and young people aged 5-19 years have a clinical mental health disorder and 75% of mental health problems are established by age 24.

Despite this, the NHS is only able to support about one-third of those children and young people in need. Young people from marginalized or disadvantaged groups find access an even greater challenge.

Girl on stairs


There has been an upward trend in the need for youth mental health services over the past decade. The number of young people arriving in A&E with a mental health problem has tripled since 2010. One in four 11 to 16-year-olds with a mental disorder had self-harmed or attempted suicide.


Referrals to children’s mental health services in 2019/20 were up 35% compared to the year before. We are interested in supporting projects which seek to address both the long-term trend of increasing need as well as the effects of Covid on young people’s mental health.

Why mental health - The Prudence Trust

Social Prescribing

Whilst we recognise that pharmaceutical treatments are often essential, the use of antidepressants amongst 12-17 year olds doubled from 2005-2017.

Non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as those connected to creativity and the arts – often known as social prescribing – can have a huge impact on the positive mental health of young people.

There is a growing body of evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and wellbeing outcomes, including reducing levels of depression. The Prudence Trust supports research to grow this evidence.

I feel inspired to give a voice to other young people by sharing my experiences living with chronic mental ill health, and my own healing through creative pursuits.

Emma Quinn
Member of the Mental Health Advisory Panel