Skip to navigation

Mental health

Girl in school uniform hugging her mum

It can be tough growing up. We know that children and young people these days are exposed to many pressures. They live in a fast and competitive world.

Many thousands of children and young people go through periods of mental ill health. When this happens to them, it can be impossible for them to make and keep friends, manage at school and feel good about themselves. And it can be bewildering for their parents and siblings. Many other children may not be diagnosed as having mental health problems but lack confidence and feel unhappy much of the time.

Facts about children and mental health

  • One in 10 children and young people aged 5-16 has a diagnosable mental health disorder.
    Children and young people who live in poverty or poor housing are more likely to have mental health problems.
  • Children whose parents have mental health problems often need special help themselves to cope and enjoy their childhood.
  • It is thought that in the UK 1 in 15 young people has self harmed – on average two in every secondary school classroom.

Mental health services

Barnardo's services work with children and young people who have mental health difficulties. We run centres where children and young people can come and we make sure that they have a worker they can trust and who they can talk to. We help them build their confidence and to address the root of their difficulties. We also work with their parents, making sure that parents feel supported. And we stay in close touch with other professionals.

Barnardo's believes in getting involved early if we can, before a child or young person's problems become very difficult.

For more information and to see some of our mental health services