Teen survey in mental health

We worked with the Irish Examiner to ask teenagers all over Ireland about the state of their mental health. 

What's wrecking your head panelOver 2,500 teenagers (13 – 19 year-olds) completed our online youth mental health survey ‘What’s wrecking your head?’ at the beginning of March 2017.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents were female, with a spread of ages from 13 to 19 years-old and 39% lived in a rural area.

Rate of mental health

There was an even three-way split between those who replied ‘good’ or ‘very good’, ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ and ‘average’ in response to the question “how would you rate your mental health at the moment?”.

Younger teenagers were more likely to report good mental health than those in their late teens. Young males were more likely than females to rate their mental health as ‘good’ or ‘very good’ (45%).

Stressors for teenagers

‘Exams’ (selected by 81%) followed by ‘school’ (selected by 80%) were the most common stressors.

The next most frequently selected issue was ‘body image’ (72%), followed by ‘friends’ (69%) and ‘family’ (63%). ‘social media’ (43%) came up frequently as a source of tension between parents and teenagers.

‘Body image’ was selected as a difficulty by 81% of females and 52% of the young males.

Solutions for stress

Over 2,000 answered the “what helps?” (an open question) and ‘music’ was the most common response (by 40%), followed by ‘exercise and sport’ (23%) and ‘talking’ (18%).

A small number of teenagers reported negative coping strategies such as ‘binge drinking’ and ‘self-harm’.

Mental health support

‘Online search’ was selected by 58% as their likelihood source of support for mental health from a list of ten options. ‘Friends’ by 56, the ‘GP’ was selected by 13% of respondents and ‘mental health service’ by only 9%.

Very few respondents indicated they would use a telephone helpline (6%) reflecting the changing nature of help-seeking among young people today.

Download and read the full report ‘What’s wrecking your head?’.pdf format (2.97KB)

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