Mental health in teenage years

Child of the New Century is helping make the case for better mental health services by raising awareness of the number of young people it affects. In recent years, there has been a growing policy focus on children’s mental health. Demand for specialist mental health services is growing and we want to ensure that you get the help and support you need.

Researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at UCL, looked at the reports both you and your parents completed on your emotions and behaviour. They found that a quarter of girls (24%) and one in 10 boys (9%) reported symptoms of depression. Your reports differed to your parents’, highlighting the importance of having open conversations with other people about your feelings.

The lead author, Dr Praveetha Patalay, said: “In recent years, there has been a growing policy focus on children’s mental health. However, there has been a lack of nationally representative estimates of mental health problems for this generation.”

Some important behavioural changes of depression to be aware of include:

  • continuous low mood and/or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • difficulty making decisions
  • feeling anxious or worried

For more information and support

You can contact the charity Young Minds who offer free, confidential online and telephone support. Their parent’s helpline provides information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25. Call them for free at 0808 8025544