There is overwhelming evidence that many lifelong mental health problems begin in childhood and adolescence. However, despite being the leading cause of disability and burden in young people, failure to seek help and delays within mental health services can often leave them vulnerable and untreated.
The UK’s mental health strategy is increasingly focused on the prevention and early intervention of emerging mental health disorders in young people. Our work will continue to improve the care pathways of young people, enabling direct access to services when they need them, and will include:
- The establishment of a Centre for Public Mental Health and Applied Healthcare Research based at the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick.
- The introduction of school-based screening tools for emerging mental health problems, including eating disorders.
- The development of screening tools to enable early identification of young people at high risk of depression or deliberate self-harm in primary care settings, including GP surgeries.
- The introduction of preventative services for vulnerable young people including the homeless and young offenders.