Children as young as FIVE are being treated for depression and anxiety… and their number is increasing by 10% each year
NHS Solent reveals that 324 young people suffering from depression were referred to it in one yearAnother 378 patients, aged 16 and under, were referred for a range of mental health therapiesOne child aged two was treated with 'play therapy'
15:34 GMT, 30 May 2012
Children as young as give are being treated for depression and anxiety, according to shock NHS figures.
NHS Solent, which covers Southampton and Portsmouth, revealed it had 324 young people suffering from depression referred to it between September 2010 and August 2011.
Another 378 patients, aged 16 and under, were referred for a range of mental health therapies.
Modern scourge: Children as young as give are being treated for depression and anxiety, according to shock NHS figures
These included cognitive behaviour therapy, anxiety management and art and play therapy, with the youngest of those aged just two.
Barbara Inkson, child clinical psychology at Solent NHS Trust, said: 'Levels of emotional disorders, including depression as well as anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders, are rising.'
She said they were seeing an annual increase of about 10 per cent in referrals.
Meanwhile, the NHS Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Sussex estimated it was working with about 330 under-11s and 830 12 to 18-year-olds with anxiety and/or depression.
Experts said children are coming under increasing stress because of unemployment, financial problems and substance abuse among their parents.
'Levels of emotional disorders, including
depression as well as anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive
disorders, are rising'
Sarah Brennan, chief executive of Young Minds, said: 'Intervening early when a child or young person starts struggling to cope is proven to reduce the likelihood of that young person developing much more severe and entrenched mental health problems.
'It is vital that we invest in children and young people’s mental health in order to prevent a generation of children suffering entrenched mental health problems as adults.'
In February, MPs announced an extra 22million will be set aside to tackle child mental health treatment.
Nationally, one in ten children aged between five and 16 years old has a clinically diagnosable mental health problem.
Half of adults with long-term mental health problems will have experienced their first symptoms before the age of 14.