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Publication, Part of

Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2022 - wave 3 follow up to the 2017 survey

Official statistics, Survey


Since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UK in March 2020, children and young people have experienced major changes in their lives. These have affected their family situation as well as their access to education, leisure and other services. 

The first and second follow ups to the 2017 Mental Health of Children and Young People (MHCYP) survey in England took place in 2020 (wave 1) and 2021 (wave 2) respectively and provided insight on the initial impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of children and young people. 

In February 2022, most of the domestic measures in place to control the spread of COVID-19 were removed. This survey (wave 3) took place during April and May 2022.  

This study was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education, commissioned by NHS Digital, and carried out by the Office for National Statistics, the National Centre for Social Research, University of Cambridge and University of Exeter. 

About the survey series

The Mental Health of Children and Young People (MHCYP) survey series provides England’s Official Statistics on trends in child mental health.  

The most recent face to face survey in the series took place in 2017 and involved interviews with a random probability sample of children and young people (aged 2 to 19 years) and their parents.

Those that agreed to future research were invited to take part in the wave 1 MHCYP online follow up survey in 2020, and again in Spring 2021 and Spring 2022 to complete the wave 2 and wave 3 online follow up surveys.  

The age of those taking part has increased over time: 

  • in 2017 the cohort were aged 2 to 19 years 

  • in 2020 they were 5 to 22 years 

  • in 2021 they were 6 to 23 years 

  • in 2022 they were 7 to 24 years  

Due to these changes in age groups, the cross-sectional analyses presented in this report are stand-alone, and should not be compared with those presented in previous reports. 

Previous reports included breakdowns by ethnic group. The latest standards for ethnicity data published in July 2022 by the Race Disparity Unit recommend using the Government Statistical Service (GSS) harmonised categories when analysing ethnicity data. When reliable data for the full harmonised set of classifications is not available, then the 5 aggregated groups should be used. Binary categories should be avoided (an example of this is using white and other than white). Binary classifications have little analytical value as aggregated ethnic groups mask substantial differences in outcomes between their constituent detailed groups.  

Comparisons between the 5 category ethnic groups are not possible in this report due to small sample sizes and therefore breakdowns by ethnic group have not been included.

What are the 5 aggregated groups of ethnicity?

These are:

  • White
  • Black
  • Asian
  • Mixed
  • Other

Last edited: 31 January 2023 9:34 am