'The support given to young people around mental health isn't enough'

20 May 2016

Mental health in young people is a subject that isn’t spoken about often in my opinion. One in 10 young people are affected by mental health yet not much is being done to tackle this. 

There are many reasons why Mental Health in young people is still an issue, the main one being that adults aren’t supportive enough. Yes, we have child and adolescent mental health services and other services but the truth is the advice and support given to the young people isn’t enough.

We can’t just tell young people to 'take deep breaths' or 'count to ten' - that’s not very helpful and it isn’t very effective. Young people do not like talking about mental health with adults so perhaps a service where young people who have experience in mental health offer advice to others would be a better alternative than an adult trying to talk to a reluctant teenager.

As society is becoming more dependent on technology, young people are the ones who are mostly affected by it. Social media can have a negative effect on a young person’s mental health. Certain sites romanticise mental illness. Some websites glorify mental illness, and encourages self-harm, self-medication, eating disorders and even suicide.

Research has found that LGBT people can be at a higher risk of experiencing a mental health problem than the others. This is because they often receive rejection or hostility from their family, friends, and others. This can have a negative impact on their self-esteem and may lead them to experience depression, anxiety and have suicidal thoughts. What we can and must do is to educate people about discrimination and the effects it could have on a person’s mental health.

It is crucial that we encourage everyone, both old and young, to discuss mental health in young people as it is an important time for young people. Teenage years can be a difficult time as we’re growing and learning and experiencing what the world is really like.

Eyram was a participant on our MyLife, MyFuture project and recently spent a week doing work experience in our London office

Help us to keep helping young people to thrive by donating now