One tenth of children has a mental illness

One in 10 children has a clinically diagnosed mental disorder,
according to figures released today, writes Maria

A national survey of 5-16 year-olds by the Office of National
Statistics found the most common diagnosis was conduct disorder
followed by anxiety or depression.

The figures also showed that children with mental disorders were
much more likely than other children to have time off school, and
as many as one in three with conduct disorder were excluded from

The prevalence of mental disorders was greater among children in
lone parent compared with two-parent families, and children with
mental disorders were more likely to be living in
“hard-pressed” areas, the survey found.

Over a half of children with emotional disorders, such as
anxiety or depression, had experienced their parents’
separation and over a quarter had a parent who had a serious mental

Among young people aged 11–16 who had an emotional disorder,
28 per cent said that they had tried to harm or kill themselves,
while a quarter of parents of autistic children reported that their
child had tried to harm or kill themselves.

The 2004 survey was the second national survey of the mental health
of children and young people, following the first survey in

It found there was no difference in the prevalence of children
and young people with mental disorders between 1999 and 2004.

Mental health of children and young people in Britain 2004 from:


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