News

Mental health statistics include young people for first time

Amy Schofield 30 November 2017

NHS Digital has published a breakdown of statistics on young people who have been referred for treatment or assessment with mental health services in England.

This is summarised in counts of people who had an open referral at some point in 2016/17, regardless of whether they accessed mental health services in the period.

According to figures in the Mental Health Bulletin 2016-17:

  • 16- to 17-year-old females were most likely to have had an open referral with mental health and learning disabilities services out of all young people.
  • 11% (69,000) of 16- to 17-year-old females in England are known to have had an open referral with NHS-funded secondary mental health, learning disabilities or autism services during 2016/17.
  • 2% (1300) of this group were admitted to hospital as part of their referral.  
  • During the same period, 8% of 16- to 17-year-old males (52,000) in England are known to have had an open referral with these services.
In total, more than 2.6 million people are known have had an open referral with mental health services at some point during the year. 560,000 of these were under 18 years of age, which means that 5% of people in England are known to have had an open referral with secondary mental health, learning disabilities and autism services during 2016/17.

Females aged 90 or over were most likely to have had an open referral with these services as a proportion of their overall population (19,000 per 100,000, or around 1 in 5 of their respective population). This will include people referred to these services because of mental health disorders such as dementia.

The numbers presented in this year’s bulletin do not include information from all providers of services.


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