Anxiety the most common mental health issue among young people

There's been an increase in the number of young people seeking help for anxiety.

39% of users of Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, said they experienced the condition.

Traditional factors include parental separation, traumatic experiences, peer pressure and exam stress.

However, the service says they're seeing new issues particular to life in 2018, including identity uncertainty and high expectations of themselves and by parents and society.

"There is a deepening sense of uncertainty amongst many young people we support in relation to their sense of identity and place in this fast-paced, evolving world," said Dr Gillian O’Brien, Director of Clinical Governance at Jigsaw.

"High expectations of self are one key driver of anxiety which can be compounded by the expectations of parents, teachers and society at large.

"However, if there is something positive that can be extracted from this rise in levels of anxiety it’s that young people today are so much more literate in terms of their mental health and wellbeing than they have ever been before.

"The very real challenge for us in Jigsaw, alongside other mental health services, is to ensure that help is available."

According to Jigsaw’s Annual Report 2017, other common mental health difficulties included: low mood (31%), stress (25%), sleep changes/issues (17%), anger (15%), family problems (14.5%), isolation/withdrawal (14%), self-criticism (12%), low self-esteem (12%) and thoughts of self-harm (11%).

Relationship difficulties, family breakdown, bullying, exam stress, isolation and peer pressure were all seen as common contributory factors.

Digital Desk

More on this topic

Dogs could aid victims of child sex abuse

70% of mental health facilities 'dirty, malodorous and poorly maintained', inspector reports

Twitter users share mental health tips with #HowIFightDepression hashtag

Jessie plans to raise bar on mental health

More in this Section

'We must not repeat the mistakes of a decade ago': Government urged to protect vulnerable citizens after Brexit

Northern Ireland civil rights leader Ivan Cooper dies

Varadkar on SwingGate: 'Not the norm of any party' to publish internal party inquiry results

Sudden thunderstorm causes flooding in Killarney


Lifestyle

Stereolab: The right band at the wrong time

Kaleidoscope: The festival that is Electric Picnic for families

The High Priestess of Punk on 40 years in showbusiness ahead of Irish gig

Orla O’Regan: ‘I treasure the way my life has turned out’

More From The Irish Examiner