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Children: Depressive Illnesses

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of children diagnosed with depression in each of the last 10 years. (195968)

I have been asked to reply.

The Office for National Statistics 2004 survey Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain looked at the prevalence of mental health disorders. It found that 10 per cent. of young people aged five to 16 years had a clinically diagnosed mental disorder. This includes four per cent. with an emotional disorder (1 per cent. depression and 3 per cent. anxiety disorders). The results of the survey are only available in terms of percentages of children rather than numbers.

There were no differences in prevalence between 1999 and 2004 in overall proportions of children with a mental disorder. The 1999 figures were captured in the 2000 “Mental health of children and adolescents in Great Britain”.

Information is not collected by this Department on the number of people diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Copies of both publications are available in the Library.