New figures reveal 34,120 children aged between five and 16 in Hampshire suffer a mental health disorder.

According to figures revealed by the Hampshire County Council's (HCC) Children and Young People Select Committee, mental health disorders in children and young people between five and 25 years old are rising gradually in the country and the county.

In 2020, 17 per cent of children between five and 16 were found to have “probable” mental health disorders across the south east.

In Hampshire, the council reported an overwhelming 34,120 cases; followed by Southampton with 5,850 cases, Portsmouth with 5,129 cases, and the Isle of Wight with 2,999 cases.

Population estimates from the Office for National Statistics show there are around 198,278 children aged between five and 16 in Hampshire, meaning 17.2 per cent of those have mental health conditions.

Parental mental health is one of the factors that impact the most in the life of these children since parent-infant attachment can have long-term effects on the development of infants.

Overall, between 10 and 20 per cent of women in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (2,130 to 4,270) are affected by mental health difficulties in the first year after giving birth.

The prevalence of mental health problems is thought to be around three times higher in mothers under 25. The proportion of births to mothers under 20 is higher than the national average in Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

During the first five years of life, children whose parents have common mental health disorders, those in families with “unhealthy” family functioning or a household with a lower income are more at risk of developing mental health disorders.

It is estimated that 3.3 per cent of two- to four-year-olds in South England have a mental health disorder; specifically, 1,514 in Hampshire (2.5 per cent), 130 in the Isle of Wight, 250 in Portsmouth and 311 in Southampton are affected.

At primary school age, boys are more likely than girls to have a mental health disorder. However, it is the opposite between 17-19 years old since girls have higher rates of emotional disorders and boys have behavioural or hyperactivity disorders. Of those with mental health disorders, 59 per cent have reported being bullied.

Around 10 per cent of 15-16-year-olds self-harm, and by the age of 16 to 25, 36 per cent self-harm at some point.

An officer from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, which plans and provides NHS services in the area, said that 36 per cent is an estimation of children and young people that “would” self-harm but not “necessarily are regularly self-harming”.

The figures indicate a 36 per cent increase in hospital admissions for self-harm among girls aged between 10 and 24 years old in Hampshire and Southampton.

Statistics show that those who self-harm are 49 times more likely to die by suicide.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Hampshire said that over the last year, its overall monthly contact capacity in core services (10,725) remains 32 per cent higher than two years ago.

It said through the I-Thrive model of treatment, the children and young people’s mental health service in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight underlines cross-agency and system-wide factors as the key to ensuring that young people receive good quality care for psychological and emotional well-being.

In January 2023, four new mental health support teams in schools in Eastleigh, Havant, Basingstoke and Winchester started supporting children and young people and schools to tackle mental health in the early years and identify those who might benefit from therapeutic or talking interventions, one-to-one support.

The teams also helped schools to improve their personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum, relationships and sex education, policies and strategies to combine all and offer supportive, good mental health in children.