MENTAL health treatment sessions for children in the Bradford district have soared since the start of the pandemic, figures reveal.

Data from NHS England shows that 67,665 mental health treatment sessions were delivered to under-18s by NHS services in the Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area between April last year and January this year – 125.9 per cent more than in the same period 12 months before.

Sasha Bhat, Head of Mental Wellbeing for NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG said: “We know that some people, including children, will have found the last year hard and that the impact of the changes that Covid-19 has bought will be far reaching across the district. 

“The impact of lockdown has magnified many existing pressures and anxieties.”

The figures also show that in the eight months to January, 3,921 children and young people were referred to Bradford district and Craven CCG for mental health support, and around 16 emergency referrals were made to the crisis care team across the period.

Ms Bhat added: “We know how important mental health support is for children, young people and their families and carers.

"Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have continued to deliver services to those in need, including services for children struggling with their emotional mental health and wellbeing, such as focussed support with schools, communities and hospitals. We’ve also continued to make quality improvements to our services and our coordinated approach across the district involves a range of organisations working closely together.

“There is support there for you if you need it; please talk about how you are feeling with your family, friends, school and with your GP if you need to.We have a number of services available, for example, text messaging, online and phone, as well as direct support. You can call Guideline free on 08001 884 884, get direct support at and search for information at”

Across England, the number of sessions delivered increased by 16.1 per cent to around four million.

Referrals increased by 28.1 per cent, to 416,000, and emergency referrals to the crisis care team rose by 10.4 per cent, to 6,000. 

This prompted  the Royal College of Psychiatrists to warn that children and young people are at risk of lifelong mental illness due to the mental health crisis triggered by the pandemic.

The professional body is calling for the additional £500 million announced in the Government’s mental health recovery plan last month to urgently reach the frontline so that people can get the support they need.

Health minister Nadine Dorries said: “I am acutely aware of how difficult this pandemic has been for many, especially children and young people, and I remain absolutely committed to supporting the mental wellbeing of everyone. 

“Early intervention and treatment is vital, and we are providing an extra £2.3 billion a year to mental health services, this will help an additional 345,000 children and young people access NHS-funded services or school and college-based support by 2023-24.”