Talking therapies for children and teenagers with mental health problems will be provided as part of a £32m investment in psychological therapies, it has been announced.
Successful parts of a psychological therapy programme that helps adults recover from anxiety and depression will be adapted for children and young people, the government said.
More than a million children will have a diagnosable mental health disorder and mental illness in childhood, costing up to £59,000 per child every year.
It is hoped that by providing them with the right help early in life, the chances will be reduced of them ending up in prison and making them more likely to gain a job.
Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “Half of those with mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14, and three quarters before their mid-20s. This pioneering work will focus on early and effective treatment.
“We know psychological therapies work. Our aim is to transform existing mental health services for children so our children get the best treatment possible, from services that are more responsive to their needs.”
Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “This investment in children’s mental health is vital.
“Talking therapies are proven to work, and so we are expanding services to treat children and young people with the tailored care that they need.”
Royal College of Psychiatrists president professor Sue Bailey said: “This is the first phase of an investment that can, and will, make a real difference to improving the mental health and lives of children and young people.”