YoungMinds is the only UK-wide charity committed to improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. 850,000 children and young people suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder, and 75% of all enduring mental health problems begin before the age of 18. Over 50% will have gone untreated at the time. It's our mission to improve the emotional resilience of all children and to ensure that those who suffer mental ill health get fast and effective support.
An average of three children in every classroom suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders or psychosis. Mental health is given a low priority - only 0.6% of the NHS budget is allocated to helping children and young people. This means waiting lists can stretch to months or even years and take place hundreds of miles from home leaving children and young people feeling isolated, alone and with no access to help.
We give young people a voice, helping them raise awareness of the importance of emotional wellbeing, reduce stigma and improve mental health services. Our website and Helpline gives young people, and their parents, the confidence that they aren't alone in their experiences and gives them the confidence and knowledge to work together to get the right support, at an early stage. We work with professionals to influence policy and practice on behalf of children for improved care and better services.
Mental health affects all aspects of a child's development including their cognitive abilities, their social skills as well their emotional wellbeing. Early intervention is vital, not only in improving long term mental health, but also in improving physical health and better academic attainment (children with persistent emotional disorders are more likely to either be excluded from school or leave with no academic qualifications).