Box 3: Local case study: Mental wellbeing in disabled children and young people

A was a partially sighted young man who had few social opportunities outside school. He rarely travelled on his own and was not confident in his physical abilities or social skills.

Royal London Society for Blind People (RLSB) contacted A about attending a series of summer ‘Sport and Play’ sessions. These sessions allowed him to meet new people, try out a range of different skills, and focus his energy on new, positive challenges.

Through these sessions, A became more confident and made new friends he now sees outside the structured sessions. He says he is happier and no longer feels bored or lonely.

Adapted with permission from a case study provided by RLSB.

The Centre for Mental Health produced a report in 2015 reviewing the evidence on the costs and benefits of increased service provision for children’s mental health.1

Strong evidence was found for effective interventions on conduct disorder, anxiety disorders, depression and ADHD, and in each case the economic benefit to public services was estimated (in reduced costs over the life course) along with the increased expected future earnings of the individual receiving the intervention.

Table 7 summarises the results of this analysis. The benefit is the sum of the public service savings and the increased future earnings of the individual. No monetary value has been put on the intangible benefits of better health and improved quality of life.

The biggest gains are seen in:

  • school-based interventions for young children with conduct disorder;
  • Aggression Replacement Therapy for adolescent children and young people with conduct disorder;
  • group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for children with anxiety disorders;
  • group CBT for children with depression.

Table 7: Summary of children’s mental health interventions and benefit:cost ratios, reproduced from the Centre for Mental Health’s 2015 publication, ‘Investing in children’s mental health’2

Condition Intervention Age range targeted Cost per child (2012/13 prices) Benefit:cost ratio
Conduct disorder in early years Family Nurse Partnerships <2 years £7,560 2:1
Group parenting programme 3-12 £1,200 3:1
Individual parenting programme 2-14 £1,800 2:1
School-based interventions 6-8 £108 27:1
Whole-school anti-bullying intervention School-age £75 14:1
Conduct disorder in adolescence Aggression Replacement Therapy 12-18 £1,260 22:1
Functional Family Therapy 11-18 £2,555 12:1
Multi-systemic therapy 12-17 £9,730 2:1
Multi-dimensional therapy 12-18 £7,820 3:1
Anxiety disorders Group cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for children 5-18 £252 31:1
Group CBT via parents 5-18 £175 10:1
Depression Group CBT 12-18 £229 32:1
Individual CBT 12-18 £2,061 2:1
ADHD Group parent training 2-12 £1,211 1.4:1
Multi-modal therapy School-age £1,495 2:1

NICE guidance is also available for conduct disorder, depression in children and young people, and ADHD.  Key points are summarised in Table 8.

Table 8: Summary of NICE guidance

References

  1. Khan, L., Parsonage, M. & Stubbs, J. (2014). Investing in children’s mental health: A review of evidence on the costs and benefits of increased service provision. Centre for Mental Health. http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/investing-in-children-report
  2. Khan, L., Parsonage, M. & Stubbs, J. (2014). Investing in children’s mental health: A review of evidence on the costs and benefits of increased service provision. Centre for Mental Health. http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/investing-in-children-report