Mental health claims for children and young people up 25% since 2022

Young daughter baking with her father
  • Depression and anxiety are leading cause of claim
  • Need for psychiatry continues on upward trend
  • Adult mental health claims seeing a 17% increase

Mental health is now a big issue for young people.  One in five children and young people aged eight to 25 were identified as having a probable mental health disorder in November 2023.1

This worrying trend is reflected in Aviva’s private healthcare claims, with a 25% increase in the number of children and young people seeking support from mental health pathway2 through Aviva’s group healthcare schemes in 2023 compared to 2022.

Consistent with previous years, more females were using Aviva’s mental health pathway than males, accounting for 71% of all mental health claims for children under the age of 16. However, the upward trend seen in mental health for young males in 2022 continued through 2023.

Anxiety has been the key driver of claims made for children and young people over recent years, accounting for four in five (80%) of all cases in 2023.  In line with 2022, there was an increased demand for psychiatry in the under 16s last year, which is typically provided when a child self-harms.

Usage of mental health pathway has also increased for adults– with a 20% increase in people seeking support through mental health pathway in 2023 compared to 2022.  Leading reasons for claim include anxiety and depression, with many parents asking for guidance on how they can better support their children’s mental health.

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.

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.

“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."



Amber Scott

Protection and Health, Regulation


1. Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2023 - wave 4 follow up to the 2017 survey - NHS Digital

2. Mental health pathway is available to employees and their named dependents, aged 12 years and over, who are covered by Aviva on a Solutions or Otimum private medical insurance policy where mental health pathway has been chosen as an optional benefit. 

Notes to editors:

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