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Survey shows one third of youths keep problems to themselves

A SURVEY of more than 1000 young people has shown that while they are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, they are not likely to get professional support.

According to the survey run by headspace, Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation, more than 60 per cent of young people say they feel constantly worried and more than half said they had felt moody and irritable for a few weeks or more.

However, only 12 per cent of 12 to 25 year olds would seek help from a professional service.

Of young people who would look for support, half would turn to their friends.

However, a third would keep their problems to themselves, with many saying they would prefer to deal with issues alone or are too concerned they would be judged.

headspace CEO Chris Tanti said not getting the right support can mean small problems turn into significant issues that impact day to day life.

"The number of young people getting help at headspace is increasing every year, but it's still concerning to see that many young people are hesitant to get professional support."

"There's obviously still a lot of misinformation when it comes to mental health and the services that are available," Mr Tanti said.

headspace has partnered with the Cotton On Foundation again this March to run the Fifth Army campaign, which skills up young people to support themselves and those around them.

"We know young people are turning to friends, which is a great first step, so it's important they have the right information and know what to do and say if their friend says they're not okay," Mr Tanti said.

The survey found that two thirds of young people are not confident they would know what to do or say if someone told them they were going through a tough time.

How do you deal with stress in life?

This poll ended on 10 March 2014.

Current Results

I talk things over with friends

14%

I keep things to myself

57%

I talk to a counsellor or other professional

0%

I express myself in other ways (exercise, art, writing etc)

28%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Cotton On Foundation General Manager Tim Diamond, said as a primarily youth brand that employs tens of thousands of young people, mental health needs to be on the agenda.

"We're in a position to play a big role in raising awareness and removing stigma associated with mental health issues. With suicide being the leading cause of death among young people, it's vital they're aware of the help available and how to access it."

"Our aim is to reach as many Australians as possible through the Fifth Army campaign to ensure everyone is well educated and supported on the issues that affect so many of us," Mr Diamond said.

Topics:  mental health youth


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