Forty five per cent of children aged between 10 and 14 say they’ve been too worried to sleep, while 60 per admit to feeling anxious or sad at least once a week, according to new research.
A quarter of the children questioned are already worrying about choosing a future career.
Unsurprisingly, exams and tests are the most common source of worry for kids, but one in three reports that family issues are keeping them awake at nights – with respondents citing anything from their parents arguing or splitting up, to losing their jobs.
The research, which was conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund, spoke to more than 700 children. It found that only around 25 per cent of young people needing mental health treatment actually receive it – usually only after their 18th birthday.
Sarah Brennan, the CEO of the YoungMinds charity, described the findings as “desperately sad”.
“In an average classroom, 10 children will have witnessed their parents separate, one will have experienced the death of a parent, and seven will have been bullied and yet there is no single approach to supporting all our children at this key stage in their development,” she said.
The research was commissioned ahead of the Lottery Fund’s launch of its new £75 million “HeadStart” programme, which aims to help children between 10 and 14 learn to cope with the pressures of modern life.