Child and adolescent mental health

Psychosis and Schizophrenia

  • The estimated prevalence across all ages and populations in the UK is 0.7% (1)
  • Schizophrenia usually starts in late adolescence and early adulthood but can begin in early adolescence; it is rare before the age of 10 years
  • In 2002, the ONS reported that the prevalence of psychotic disorders in children aged between 5 and 18 years was 0.4%
  • A survey in England and Wales (1998-2004) suggested that schizophrenia accounts for 24.5% of all adolescent (10–18 years) psychiatric admissions (the overall admission rate is 0.46 per 1000 for this age range) with an exponential rise across the adolescent years (mostly from 15 years onwards) 
  •  About a fifth of children and young people with schizophrenia have a good outcome with only mild impairment
  • A third have severe impairment that requires intensive social and psychiatric support
  • Schizophrenia is frequently associated with significant impairments, social, educational, vocational and family areas of life– and it is associated with increased morbidity and mortality through both suicide and natural deaths
  • It is likely that the younger onset of schizophrenia will prove to be most costly for the person, their family and society(2)
Psychotic disorders National prevalence Estimated local absolute number
National and estimated local prevalence of phychotic disorders
5-18 years 0.4% 172

: *National estimate from NICE, applied to local population estimate

  • It is estimated that 172  children and young people will be suffering with psychosis in Central Bedfordshire.


(1) Central Bedfordshire Children and Young People’s Plan 2013 – 2015

(2) National guideline for Clinical Excellence; Guideline scope:  Psychosis and schizophrenia: recognition and management of psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people



Last updated Wednesday, 1st November 2017