Heads up: Mental health of young people, a guide for funders

Mental health problems don’t just affect adults. Over one million children and young people in the UK suffer from disorders that make it hard for them to cope with every day life: to learn, make friends or deal with stressful situations. Three out of four of these are not receiving adequate treatment and so are more likely to grow into adults with ongoing mental health problems.

NPC’s report, Heads up, explores how charities are helping young people recover from mental health problems.

Did you know?

  • The average spend on mental health problems is 60% higher for adults than children, even though many adult problems could have been tackled in childhood.
  • In England, conduct disorder in children and young people costs £1.5bn every year. NPC estimates that making more treatment available could save society between £244m and £376m.

The report highlights the opportunities for both charities and donors in view of the following sector priorities:

  • strengthening the capacity of the sector to campaign, lobby and fundraise;
  • focusing on prevention and tackling problems early;
  • improving and sharing the evidence for what works; and
  • developing the workforce, through training for teachers, youth workers, GPs and other frontline staff.

 Many young people with mental health problems don’t feel that they can tell a parent, teacher or GP about their problem, so charity helplines can be life-saving for young people in distress.

Matthew van Poortvliet, report author