AWARE Blog Post: Mental Health in Young People
In April of this year, AWARE was joined by Victoria Carson, a student from Ulster University studying counselling and completing a module in Health Communication. As part of her module, Victoria kindly wrote three blogs for AWARE on mental health in young people. We will be sharing these blogs on our website and social media. This is blog one which explores mental health in young people.
The amount of young people that disagree with the statement “life is really worth living” has doubled in the past decade. This was recorded in a 2019 report conducted by the Prince’s Trust Youth Index, which measures the overall happiness and confidence of young people throughout the UK.
Mental health is a combination of our emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel, act, relate to others and manage stress. So why is the identification of ill mental health amongst young people at its peak today?
Growing up in society today is complex. This transition period of life brings about many anxieties and uncertainties. Young people are attempting to figure out their place and purpose in the world. They are trying to make sense of their own world views and make their stand as an individual. An already uncertain time is made more difficult again when we consider our current political and economic backdrop.
The uncertainty surrounding upcoming political events in the UK is said to be adding to young people’s stresses about their future. The mass use of social media has resulted in a complete disconnect from the real world and real people. With an increasing number of young people feeling more comfortable behind the safety net of their mobile phones, face-to-face connection is at an all-time low. Have you ever taken a moment to look around you in a café, or on the train, and notice how many people are glued to their screens? Research shows that a lack of social connection is more detrimental to health than smoking and obesity. What’s more, scrolling creates feelings of jealousy, inadequacy and comparison. In the Prince’s Trust report mentioned above, 57% of young people stated that they feel an overwhelming pressure to succeed due to social media.
Life is tough. Pressure is coming at our young people at fast speed and in all directions. Inevitably, this can take its toll on their mental wellbeing. Young people need to know that it’s okay not to be okay. Our feelings are ours to own. What’s important is our response to them. Connection with others, acceptance of yourself and developing coping skills are vital in working towards positive mental health. We all have a part to play in helping those around us, and ourselves, to achieve our greatest potential.
The amount of young people that disagree with the statement “life is really worth living” has doubled in the past decade. Let’s do something about this.Tags: Depression | Mental Health | mental health young people | mood matters young people | princes trust | Young people