More than one in eight children and young people in England have a problem with mental health, the NHS
A survey of more than 9,000 young people and their parents and teachers reveals that 12.8% of people between the ages of 2 and 19 have a mental disorder.
Women aged 17-19 are the most heavily affected age group, with almost a quarter of them (22.4%) suffering from an emotional disorder.
And one in three gay, lesbian or bisexual teenagers suffers from mental health problems, compared to one in seven heterosexuals.
Surprisingly, a quarter of teenagers with mental disorder are self-inflicted or trying to commit suicide, and this has risen to nearly half of 17 to 19-year-olds.
The figures coincide with the fears that hundreds of children receive high-strength antidepressants by doctors who oppose the guidelines to prescribe them.
Experts called the "shocking" figures and said that inadequate mental health and support services leave many young people in a "vicious circle of loneliness and suffering."
"These figures are shocking," said Denise Hatton, CEO of YMCA England & Wales.
"While progress has been made in normalizing mental health talks, and subsequent governments have made additional funding for NHS services, today's figures are a call to wake up that this is clearly not far enough."
The mental health of children and teens in England in 2017, published today by NHS Digital, has released the data free.
For the first time, he included those aged between 15 and 19 and aged between two and four years.
The number of children between five and 15 years of age with mental health problems increased from 9.7% in 1999 to 11.2% in 2017.
Even preschool children can not escape the scourge of mental health problems affecting the youth of the nation – 5.5% of juveniles have some disorder.
Experts who offer insights into the figures suggest that social media can be partially guilty.
Dr Dennis Owgrin, a senior psychiatrist at King's College London, said: "Children with mental disorders are heavier social media users and are more seriously affected by social media than children without psychiatric disorders."
Teenagers between the ages of 17 and 19 have the highest percentage of emotional disorders, with one in six suffering (16.9%) and 6.4% having more than one.
Mrs. Hatton from YMCA added: "In order to put an end to this crisis that destroys young people, it is crucial that actions and investments prevent young people from experiencing bad mental health in the first place.
"From preventive youth and public services to school education, mental health should be included in every aspect of everyday life to stop young people from reaching a crisis point.
"Without preventive services and the NHS struggling to cope, too many young people are left alone to deal with their mental health problems alone, leading to a vicious circle of loneliness and suffering."
The British Medical Association, a leading union of doctors, has also called for more investment in mental health services.
The NHS psychiatrist and the Deputy Chair of the Advisory Committee, Dr. Gary Vannon, said: "These findings are extremely concerned, but not surprising at all, as BMA has long warned of the need for greater investment in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS ) to be able to respond to growing demand.
"Prevention, wherever possible, or early intervention is far the most effective and useful tool for treating the mental health of children and adolescents."
It has also been revealed that nearly 600 children, including aged 10 or under, receive strong antidepressants that increase the risk of suicide.
Where do most children have mental disorders?
East England (15.6%)
Yorkshire and Humber (14.7%)
East Midlands (12.2%)
West Midlands (11.7%)
Source: NHS Digital
Figures revealed by The Guardian
shows that 597 patients under the age of 18 receive "last resort" medications by doctors who oppose NHS guidelines.
Medes, paroxetine and venlafaxine should not be given to children under normal prescribed circumstances, they report in the report because they are thought to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts among young people.
The use of depot medication was over-enforced, as the number of patients under the age of 18 receiving antidepressants increased from about 69,000 in 2016 to 71,365 last year.
Oxford University psychiatrist Andrea Cipriani told The Guardian: "Paroxetine and venlafaxine should not be prescribed as a first-line treatment, that's for sure."
She added: "Medications are not a quick fix for depression."
The mental disorders measured in today's NHS data include emotional, behavioral, and hyperactivity disorders as well as other, less common disorders.
The most common problem among pre-school children is what is called a "opiate disorder" characterized by provocative behavior.
The extent of data breakdown by region reveals that children in eastern England and the southwest are most affected, with nearly 16% of them suffering.
While those in London have the least mental disorder, nine percent of them suffer.
"We need to support the most vulnerable children, while children and youth mental health care have a high priority on everyone's business," said Mark Rowland, Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Foundation.
He added children to low-income homes or had parents with mental health problems, are at increased risk of suffering from disorders.
Alana Ryan, Senior Policy Officer at NSSC, said: "When a generation of children struggle with their mental health, because many have committed suicide or attempted suicide, we basically fail to reach our young people.
"Our own research shows that even if children are directed to specialized mental health, there is little chance of getting it, which is totally unacceptable."
The British Psychological Society warns that the growing number of mental problems is evidence that the current treatment system is not working.
Chief Executive Sarb Badzha said statistics confirm that "psychologists working with this group have known for years that the mental health challenges faced by children and young people are increasing."
He added, "We have to give priority to prevention, early intervention and psychological approaches that have proven to work with children and their families, peers, schools and communities."
"NONE IS EVERYTHING AT THE TIME WHICH CAN BE PERFORMED AT THE AGE OF AGE"
For many people, mental health problems can begin during the vital stages of life development, and this was the case with 18-year-old Alexandra Cromi of Belfast.
The first years at Alexandra's school have encouraged a negative standpoint for herself, she says, when the bullies will call it fat and will even encourage her to cut and kill herself.
Not knowing how to deal with her feelings, Miss Cromy soon develops anxiety and depression at the age of 14. In her attempts to change her appearance, she became bulimia, trying to lose weight, to look more like her more fragile classmates.
With these efforts that do not work, and not finding anyone to trust Alexandra's mind-boggling mental state, it has soon become more extreme.
"There was no one for me, so all my hatred and anger began to get out of harm," she revealed.
"I was cutting myself, burning myself, scratching myself, banging under my skin, all because I did not know how to focus this negative energy elsewhere, so I just started to focus on what went on about two to three years.
Miss Crombie's problem was so much that she finally began to think of suicidal thoughts and even tried to take her own life. At this stage she trusted a doctor and received urgent referral to the NHS adviser.
Beginning to finally feel supported, Miss Cromy began to feel more optimistic about her future after a year of meeting at the NHS counselor.
Now she has made enormous improvements in her mental health and volunteers for the National Citizens Service, sharing her difficult experience with other young people who are fighting and encouraging people to seek help.
"People must realize that mental health can be improved with the right support," added Miss Cromi. "But the problem is, people just do not talk about it enough.
"It really can not be opened before I split up when I was trying to share my story because I automatically thought people would think I was a nightmare.
"When I shared my story, I received so much support from people, thank you for opening me and I said it was inspiring.
"It really made me feel accepted. It just shows how helpful you might be to have a supportive network around you, but to have a safe place to talk.
National Citizens' Service