One in 13 young people have had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) before reaching age 18, new research has revealed.
The first UK-based study of its kind, conducted by King’s College London, also found 31% of young people had a traumatic experience during childhood, doubling their chance of suffering from a mental health disorder.
Only a small proportion of young people with PTSD in the study had received effective treatment, according to the findings.
Professor Andrea Danese, senior researcher from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, said: ‘Our findings should serve as a wake-up call – childhood trauma is a public health concern yet trauma-related disorders often go unnoticed.
‘Young people with PTSD are falling through the gaps in care and there is a pressing need for better access to mental health services. Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) need to make more resources available to address the needs of traumatised young people.’
In the study, half of young people with PTSD had self-harmed, with one in five attempting suicide since age 12.