As a clinical psychologist I have seen a rapid growth in teenagers needing urgent help. It makes no sense to cut funding for vital NHS services

Yesterday’s report by the Institute for Public Policy Research revealed how the number of students disclosing a mental illness when they arrive at university has risen almost fivefold in the past decade. Left untreated, mental ill health problems grow, with students more likely to drop out of university, and there is also an increase in alcohol and drug misuse, self-harm and vulnerability to suicide.

This is a reflection of the substantial increase in the number of children receiving care for their mental health. This is a good thing. Data covering 60% of NHS mental health trusts revealed staggering figures: about a quarter of a million children were receiving mental health care in England. There were 11,849 boys and girls aged five and under receiving help, while 235,000 children and young people under the age of 18 were receiving specialist care.

Related: Mental health: what can new students do to prepare for university?

Related: Number of university dropouts due to mental health problems trebles

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