Adolescents and Mental Health in the UK.

A national daily newspaper reported today that teenagers in the UK are among the most unhappy anywhere and some are struggling with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The newspaper went on to state that the reasons for distress among young people are several and varied, but social media and high expectations are the major causes.

Social media compels a young person to participate in a global forum that not only deprives a person of privacy, but a young person, or anyone really, can be the target of lies, innuendo, false accusations and huge peer pressure. Add to this mix the relentless pressure, imposed and/or self imposed, to succeed at school and sport or both. A young person could easily become depressed or at least anxious if they perceive they’re not slim, beautiful, athletic and straight As at school.

Solutions? That’s a tough one. Confidence. Self esteem. Even deference and respect. These qualities need to be inculcated long before a person reaches their teens. The situations isn’t hopeless, but it may mean reaching out to young adults individually to help them. Government needs to do more but government can’t and shouldn’t do everything. If charity begins at home, so does confidence, self esteem, self respect, and deference.