Be yourself, everyone else is already taken

Oscar Wilde


Youth mental health in numbers: no time to waste!

  • Across the UK, about 1 in 6 people over the age of 16 experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression.
  • Half of all mental health problems in adulthood begin during or before adolescence, and 75% (3 in 4) start by the age of 24.
  • Mental health issues are leading causes of disability for people between 15-44 years of age.
  • Suicide and self-harm are behaviors linked with mental distress. In the UK, suicide is the leading cause of death for young people. For each person who commits suicide, at least 20 make a suicide attempt.


Mental health is an essential component
of our well-being

By ‘mental health’ we refer to our capacity to:

  • Recognize, express and manage our emotions.
  • Positively relate and cooperate with others.
  • Make valuable contributions to our family, society or community.
  • Learn from our experiences and solve challenges in a flexible way.
  • Use our talents and abilities to achieve valuable goals.
  • Experience a general sense of optimism and hope for the future.
  • Have a general sense of direction in our life, and control over our behaviours, thoughts, and emotions.

When we are not able to cope with the demands and adversities of life, we can develop different disorders that affect one or more of these components of our mental health.


Youth mental health

Jonny Benjamin — mental health advocate and author — talks about pressing mental health issues for today's youth.


Early signs of mental health problems

We all feel sad, angry, tired or anxious from time to time. It is part of normal life. However, if these negative emotions persist for a long time or interfere with our daily life we might be at increased risk of developing a mental health issue. Some common early signs of mental health problems include:

  • Changes in our sleeping or eating patterns, such as sleeping or eating too little or too much.
  • Feeling down or tired most of the time.
  • Being easily irritated or angry.
  • Feeling worried, stressed or hopeless about the future.
  • Having trouble keeping up with work at school, university or work.
  • Having difficulties concentrating or making decisions.
  • Starting to become isolated and having unusual or distressing ideas or thoughts.
  • Wanting to hurt ourselves.

If you or someone you know is experiencing some of these issues we highly recommend to ask for professional help. Support for mental health disorders is widely available. Click here to know more


Preventing mental disorders in young people

Many young people who struggle with poor mental health do not receive professional help until late, often when they are in a state of crisis. If not addressed rapidly, these problems can continue to adulthood, becoming more severe and long-lasting.

The impact of mental illness can be prevented with interventions to support young people and promote well-being strategies. No time to waste! The time to tackle youth mental health is now.

By participating in our research, you too can help us improve the life of many young people.


Types of mental disorders

Young people must cope with new social, academic and work pressures in today’s complex and unpredictable societies. According to the World Health Organisation, about 20% of young people experience a mental health problem each year.

The following are some common mental health issues affecting adolescents and young adults around the World:

Support for mental health disorders is widely available. Click here to know more