Worry gives small things a big shadow – Swedish proverb
Young people see mental health as a more important issue than the environment, bullying, education and employment.
Over half of adult mental health conditions are often apparent by age 14.
Young people believe there is pressure to perform, peer pressure – and the topical issue that is a mixed blessing or curse depending on your viewpoint – social media.
Mental health and wellbeing are things we need to cherish.
Anything impacting in this area will affect all aspects of our lives.
It affects more of us than we realise; it has an impact on our loved ones and our children.
As adults, we think children should be carefree, enjoying the time before adulthood in this crazy high pressure and busy world.
However, studies show one in 14 young people suffer from depression and one in six suffers anxiety.
Childhood is a period of change and challenges: emotional, physical, social, schooling, family conflict, peer pressure and changes in friendships, exposure to substances and social media.
The Queensland school curriculum has become more demanding on children and parents and there is pressure to do many extra-curricular activities.
Beyond Blue has found that 1 in 16 young Australians is currently experiencing depression.
They also know that:
- One in six young Australians is experiencing an anxiety condition
- One in four young Australians has a mental health condition
- Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents
- Evidence suggests three in four adult mental health conditions emerge by age 24 and half by age 14
- Young people are most concerned about coping with stress, school or study problems and body image, depression and family conflict, in that order
- Concern about mental health among young people is growing
- Young people see mental health as a more important issue than things such as the environment, bullying, education and employment
- A quarter of young Australians say they are unhappy with their lives
We can help young people experiencing mental health conditions which will lead to long-term positive outcomes.
As parents and carers, there are things that may be affecting teenagers which include over-conforming, being a perfectionist, being unsure of themselves, needing to re-do tasks, needing regular approval and reassurance, worrying about “what if”, exaggerated worries about many things, recurring physical complaints, nightmares, feeling socially anxious or fear of performing in public or at school.
Anxiety may impair school performance and affect the ability to form and maintain relationships with their peers.
This has led to our young children and adolescents being challenged by many things and commonly we see anxiety, depression, self-harm, sexuality crises and peer pressure, alcohol and drugs, bullying and cyberbullying, grief and loss, low self-esteem and body image, physical health problems, discrimination, family break-up and eating disorders.
If you have any concerns about yourself, someone you know, or your child, reach out. All of our GPs are experienced and are parents themselves. We can help.