21 January 2020
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Mental health and young people

The emotional wellbeing of children and young people is just as important as their physical health.
Action for Children

The need

Good mental health and resilience are fundamental to:

  • positive relationships
  • education
  • training
  • employment

Good mental health will ensure children and young people have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

Shockingly, one in every 10 children and young people, aged 5-16 years, suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder. That is around 3 children in every classroom. However, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. (The Children’s Society).


Mental health services in the UK are overstretched, have long waiting times and in some regions lack specialist services. Not enough is being invested in prevention. We know that children are less likely to suffer from serious mental health difficulties in later life if they receive support at an early age, providing a cost saving to adult mental health services. In fact, half of those adults with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14 (Place2be).

Royal Mail’s partnership with Action for Children will ensure we are tackling these needs early, preventing young people from having life-long mental health issues.

A growing issue

Among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years (Mental Health Foundation, 2004). This demonstrates the rapid growth of this issue and the need for major preventative action to be taken.

How we will make a difference.

Sir Tony Hawkhead, Chief Executive of Action for Children, said:

 “On average, every classroom in Britain has three children with a diagnosable mental health illness. If we act early, we can prevent these illnesses from having a devastating impact on those children for the rest of their lives. I am delighted that Action for Children has been chosen as Royal Mail’s new charity partner.

“Our partnership will enable us to run a preventative schools programme in local communities throughout our country so that we can prevent thousands of young people from experiencing preventable, long term mental illness. Together, we can show them that life is worth living.”

The content on this page has been provided by Action for Children.