One in four 17- to 19-year-olds in England had a probable mental disorder in 2022 – up from one in six in 2021, according to an NHS Digital report.
Based on an online survey, rates among teenage boys and girls were similar – but twice as high in 17- to 24-year-old women compared with men.
The charity Mind said the UK government "will be failing an entire generation unless it prioritises investment in young people's mental-health services".
Matthew Rimmington, 24, is working full-time after studying acting at university, but aged 18, he felt his life was falling apart.
It started with symptoms of anxiety, which deteriorated until his feelings really started scaring him.
Despite going to his GP and being referred to NHS mental-health services, Matthew received no early support.
"I was put on one waiting list and then another one," he says.
"It was a constant back and forth and we never got anywhere."
Mind interim chief executive officer Sophie Corlett said funding should be directed towards mental-health hubs for young people in England, where they can go when they first start to struggle with their mental health.
"The earlier a young person gets support for their mental health, the more effective that support is likely to be," she said.
"Young people and their families cannot be sidelined any longer by the government, who need to prioritise the crisis in youth mental health as a matter of national emergency."
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Source: BBC News, 29 November 2022