Thousands of children in Mid-Essex using mental health services over the past year

Thousands of children and young people have come into contact with mental health services in Mid Essex over the past year, new figures show.

Children’s mental health charity YoungMinds said the figures were “heartbreaking”, especially as students receive grades in A-level and GCSE exams.

Figures from NHS Digital show that 3,605 children and young people had at least one contact with mental health services in the NHS Mid Essex CCG area in the 12 months to May.

That figure was up from 3,565 in April and the most since local figures were first recorded in July 2021.

YoungMinds said the figures paint a “shocking picture” of young people’s mental health in the country.

This attributed the increase in the number of children accessing mental health care to a number of factors, including the pandemic and school pressures.

Olly Parker, Head of External Affairs, said: “The pandemic has certainly deepened the mental health crisis for young people, with huge disruption to the education of students, many of whom also faced multiple pressures such as the environments family difficulties, bereavement and other traumas.

The Department of Health and Social Care has said supporting children’s mental health is a “major priority” and has invested £79million in 2021-22 to expand services to support more than 22,000 children and young people.

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