Mental Health is Top Concern for Young People
Late last year in December, Mission Australia released their Annual Youth Survey Report, with worrying results. For the first time in the youth survey’s 16 years, mental health is the number one concern nominated by young people. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to learn and practice strategies to assist young people suffering from a mental health concern.
The three most important issues for young people
As we found in the Surf Coast Youth Survey last year, young people are crying out for help with their mental health. The visual graphic provided by Mission Australia shows that the top issues that young people identified were mental health, alcohol and drugs, and equity and discrimination. Around one third of young Australians agreed that mental health was their number one concern, a figure which has more than doubled since the 2015 survey. With this alarming statistic, it is more important than ever that we are equipped with the knowledge and resources to help these young people.
Issues surrounding mental health
Respondents to the youth survey overwhelmingly responded that their top personal concerns were related to their own mental health. These issues included coping with stress, body image and depression. All of these issues are highly concerning for a young person’s mental well-being and should be addressed appropriately. On the Hero Town blog, we have already discussed helping a young person struggling with their body image and depression and we have collated resources specific to those concerns. If you know a young person in your life who may be experiencing these concerns, you may find these resources to be useful.
Young people also recognised that these mental health concerns were major barriers to achieving their full potential in work or school. Almost 20% of young people disclosed that they did not feel confident in their ability to achieve their goals after completing high school, another figure which has doubled over the past two years. One young respondent to the survey wrote they she would like for Australia to:
acknowledge the fact that mental health is a huge issue and do something about it, and the other issues surrounding mental health such as drug use, homelessness and family breakdowns.
How we can help
It is imperative that the community comes together to address the issue of young people’s mental health and to help these struggling young people. As the CEO of Mission Australia, James Toomey, commented:
Young people need a coordinated, comprehensive and cohesive national response to ensure they can access the right mental health supports when they need them.
Together, we can empower ourselves to help young people and give them the support that they so clearly are asking for. By enrolling in Youth Mental Health First Aid today, you can empower yourself to act in the event of a mental health concern involving a young person.