25% of Teenage Girls and 10% of Teenage Boys Depressed
These are the stark figures produced in a recent report by Liverpool University should give us all pause for thought. These figures show that our young people are facing far greater mental health challenges than the generation before. There are many interesting factors which came from this research, one of the most glaring is that girls are suffering far more than boys at this early life stage. There are several possibilities as to why this might be the case, however, I think what may well prove to be the cause is that boys are still not encouraged enough to discuss their feelings and it takes them to be in real crisis for them to report mental health issues.
Another interesting factor in this study shows that teens from ethnic minorities are less likely to report mental distress than those from mixed or white backgrounds. This is evidence that the psychotherapy and counselling professions need to double their efforts to reach out to communities which would not necessarily see therapy as valuable.
This data is useful for practitioners like myself. Though I am an adult psychotherapist it should be noted that half of all cases of adult mental illness start by the age of 14. This being said, early diagnosis and treatment is the key to people being able to get help in order to live a mentally healthy life.