A recent survey of 25,000 participants has revealed mental health is the number one concern for young people in Australia, aged between fifteen and nineteen years old.
Mission Australia released the finding of their Annual Youth Survey this week with the findings putting mental health as the main issue of concern for the third year in a row and followed closely in second place by the environment.
Some of the specific contributors to stress and mental health issues included:
- Coping with stress
- School or study problems
- mental health
- Body image
Bullying was also a common issue with an average of 1 in 5 having personally experienced bullying and an average of half of the participants registering they had witnessed bullying of some sort.
When the question was asked to the participants where/whom they would go to for help and support for important issues, the answers showed that 82% would approach a friend first and only 13% would use the resources of a community service with stigma and lack of resources being the primary issues.
WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE GO FOR HELP FOR IMPORTANT ISSUES:
Friends: Approximately 82%
Parent/Guardian: Approximately 75%
Relative/Family Friend: Approximately 58%
Brother/Sister: Approximately 50%
Internet: Approximately 45%
GP or Health Professional: Approximately 45%
Teacher: Approximately 36%
School Counsellor: Approximately 30%
Social Media: Approximately 15%
Community Service: Approximately 13%
Note: Full report can be found HERE
So how can we help change this statistic with mental health being such a concern for young people?
Whilst there is still a lot of work to do and resources that need implementing in the mental health space all around the , there are ways that we can start gaining momentum on this necessary movement. . .
With friendship groups being one of the most used support networks for young people it is imperative that they have the tools themselves for supporting a friend who may reach out to them and our LIVIN Psychologist, Luke Foster, has shared some tips which may assist in having those conversations and being prepared for the answer when you do ask "Are you okay?"
With participants being as equally willing to seek help online rather than through an actual GP, which could purely be due to their location, there are many valuable online forums and platforms that can assist and support those who need to speak to someone including our own SANE forum which is available 24/7.
Our LIVINWell Schools Program is our mental health educational program where one of our experienced LIVIN facilitators delivers our 45 minute mental health educational program to high school students around the country and starting the conversation around mental with the goal of breaking the stigma surrounding mental health.
Surveys such as the one compiled by Mission Australia, are a valuable insight to the concerns of the younger generation and hopefully as a community, we can all start to help in our own ways and change these statistics.
If you are struggling and need to speak to someone, please visit our Get Help Page for organisations that can assist.