Covid-19: Pandemic has disproportionately harmed children's mental health, report finds

A generation of children and young people are at risk of being left behind because of a combination of soaring waiting times for health services and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on their mental health, a new analysis has warned.

Key findings include:

  • Between April and September 2021, there was an 81% increase in referrals for children and young people’s mental health services compared with the same period in 2019. The increase for adults (19 years and over) in the same period was 11%

  • During the same period, there were over 15 000 urgent or emergency crisis care referrals for children and young people, a 59% increase compared with the same period in 2019

  • One in five children and young people waited more than 12 weeks for a follow-up appointment with mental health services between April 2020 and March 2021

  • The number of children and young people waiting to start treatment for a suspected eating disorder quadrupled from pre-pandemic levels to 2083 by September 2021

  • During the pandemic, the number of children and young people attending emergency departments primarily for an eating disorder doubled from 107 in October 2019 to 214 in October 2021.

Read more here.

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