A greater choice in psychological therapies is needed to help young people with post-traumatic stress disorder, BACP has said.

One in 13 young people in England and Wales experiences PTSD by the age of 18, according to research released today.

The Kings College London’s study of 2,232 18-year-olds found nearly a third experienced trauma in children, with a quarter going on to develop PTSD.

However, only one in five of this group said they had received help from a mental health professional.

Only one in three talked to their GP about mental health in the past year.

Jo Holmes, BACP’s Children, Young People and Families lead, said: “It’s extremely worrying that young people are going through the experience of PTSD alone, without accessing help when they need it.

“There has to be more funding available for services focusing on trauma with children and young people, including ensuring a wide range of choice around psychological therapies in a wide range of community settings.

Postcode lottery


"We must ensure young people and their families know where to find the services, and can get access to them. But the sad fact is there is not parity across the nation for these services. It remains a postcode lottery. Young people whose lives are blighted by PTSD deserve better.”

Young people who developed PTSD were twice as likely as their peers to have a range of mental health disorders, the study published in the Lancet Psychiatry found.

They were also at high risk of harm to themselves - half had self-harmed and one in five attempted suicide since age 12.

People with PTSD suffer from a range of symptoms including: re-living traumatic events through distressing memories or nightmares; avoidance of anything reminding them of their trauma; feelings of guilt, isolation or detachment; and irritability, impulsivity or difficulty concentrating.

You can find a BACP counsellor or psychotherapist via BACP’s Therapist Directory.