HC Deb 17 December 2001 vol 377 c168W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many school-age children suffer from mental health problems; and if he will make a statement. [22489]

Jacqui Smith

A survey of the mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain was carried out in 1999 by the Office for National Statistics on behalf of the Department, the Scottish Health Executive and the National Assembly for Wales. The intention was to provide up-to-date baseline information on the prevalence of mental disorders among 5 to 15-year-olds. Prevalence rates were produced for the three main categories of mental disorder, for example conduct disorders, hyperactivity and emotional disorders.

Key findings on prevalence were: about 10 per cent. of children aged 5–15 in Great Britain had a mental disorder in 1999; 5 per cent. had conduct disorders (eg aggressive and antisocial behaviour), 4 per cent. had emotional disorders (eg anxiety, depression) and 1 per cent. were hyperkinetic (inattention, overactivity); mental disorders were significantly more common in boys than girls in both the 5–10 and the 11 to I5-year-old age groups.

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