In both the UK and US, services for young people are being cut, leaving those from marginalised groups at greatest risk of suicide

One recent report called the problem a “silent catastrophe” while a survey of teachers labelled it an “epidemic”. But, whatever the language deployed to describe the scale of mental health challenges facing Britain’s young people, it has to be addressed immediately.

NHS figures published last month revealed that almost 400,000 children and young people aged 18 and under are in contact with the health service for mental health problems. According to the figures, the number of “active referrals” by GPs in April was a third higher than the same period two years prior. Those seeking help for conditions such as depression and anxiety showed a sharp increase.

Related: Young people’s mental health: we can build a resilient generation​ | Paul Burstow

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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