One in five children and young people aged eight to 25 were identified as having a mental health disorder in November 2023.

This has shown in Aviva and its private healthcare claims with a 25% increase in the number of children and young people seeking help from its mental health support schemes in 2023 compared to 2022.

More females were using Aviva’s mental health pathways than males, accounting for 71% of all mental health claims for those under the age of 16. However, there has been an upward trend for young males accessing the same services.

Anxiety has been the main drive of mental health claims for children and young people in recent times, account for 80% of all cases in 2023.

Furthermore, usage of mental health pathway has increased for adults with a 20% increase in people seeking support in 2023 compared to 2022. Leading reasons include anxiety and depression.

Dr Suba M, medical director at Aviva UK Health, said: “There’s no getting away from the fact that the uncertainty of the recent years has left a worrying legacy on the mental health of children and often, their families.

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“As a parent myself, I know how the welfare of your children can affect your own mental health and it’s important that both parents and children have the support they need to help them through the situation.

“If extra care is needed, our mental health pathways offer personalised, evidence-based support that helps the individual understand what’s causing their mental health problems, and offers coping mechanisms and ongoing support to help them take control of the situation and get on the road to recovery.

“At Aviva, we’re helping in several ways. Through our webinars, we’re enabling parents to spot the warning signs that something is wrong, and giving them the confidence to talk to their children about mental health and practical tools to help support their needs.”