The Epidemic of Mental Ill Health Among Young People

Young person mental ill health

More young people than ever are suffering from a mental health problem. Pressures to do well at school, college or university, plus the effects of social media, bullying, and poverty all contribute to the statistic that one in ten young people are experiencing mental health problems at any one time. Suicide is the second most common cause of death for young people aged between 15 and 24 years old, and a record number of children contacted Childline in 2016-17 because they were having suicidal thoughts. This is only the tip of the iceberg of the epidemic of mental ill health among young people.

Aside from the pressures of modern society, a lack of support is compounding the problem. Access to professional help is not always possible, and the influential people in a young person’s life such as parents, teachers, or other family members might not know how to help.

But it’s not all bad news; World Mental Health Day 2018 is on 10th October and this year it focuses on ‘young people and mental health in a changing world.’

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) are creating a free, practical toolkit for anyone who works with or supports young people from age 8-24. It will aim to give schools, colleges, universities, youth organisations, parents and young people themselves some facts, tips, and advice on how they can best support young people’s mental health.

What is the government doing?

The government recently announced that hundreds of new mental health workers will be working in schools and colleges from the start of 2019. A Green Paper has outlined plans for a pilot scheme in seven ‘trailblazer’ regions across the UK, and for seven higher education institutions to run Education Mental Health Practitioner courses.  Hundreds of staff working in education will be trained in 2019, and the government wants 8000 staff to be trained by 2023. The goals of the Green Paper are to look after the mental health needs of young people, assess and treat their problems quickly, and to provide them with quicker referrals for help that’s accessible and close to home. The Green Paper builds on the government’s previous commitment to introduce Youth Mental Health First Aid training into every state secondary school by early 2020.

What is Youth Mental Health First Aid training?

The training is for anyone who lives with, works with, or supports young people aged 8-18. It helps adults to gain the skills and confidence to support young people who are struggling with their mental health and to help them get the support they need. This can aid recovery, stop mental health problems from getting worse, and even save lives. Listening to young people and allowing them to talk about their mental health will make them see that it’s okay to talk about their problems. The more acceptable that talking about mental health becomes, the more healthy and supportive environments we can create, at home, at school, and at work.

Our Youth Mental Health First Aid training

We currently run a two day Youth Mental Health First Aid Course and we’re planning to offer a One Day course later on this year. Our qualified Youth Mental Health First Aid instructors will provide you with the information, tools, and techniques you need to have a positive impact on a young person’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

How will our training make a difference?

  • It teaches adults practical skills they can use every day
  • It provides a deeper understanding of the issues relating to young people and mental health
  • It helps people to recognise the symptoms of mental health problems and gives them the confidence to help

Do you want to learn how to support young people with mental health problems and promote their emotional wellbeing?

Register your interest in our course by filling in our contact form and the course instructor will get back to you.

The course is open to anyone over 16 and you don’t need any qualifications or experience in mental health to take part. All you need is a desire to help build a future where everyone realises that talking about mental health is not only possible, it’s absolutely necessary.



Bridget Woodhead