The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has recently revealed in the latest report that one in four young women, aged 16-24 suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The data was found by researchers using surveys to collect information regarding the physical and mental well-being of young people in the UK. Between 2014-15, the data had indicated that unfortunately more women suffer from anxiety and depression more than men. The statistics alluded that 15% of young men suffered, compared to a staggering 25% of women. The survey analyzed people’s happiness levels, taking into consideration finances, work, relationships, education and other characteristics of day-to-day life, to understand how much young people can be affected everyday occurrences. The survey had revealed that women were ‘significantly more likely’ to recognize that they felt anxious or even depressed, whilst only one in six men said they felt the same.

Mental health has become a powerful topic which is being addressed in the UK, and an awareness of the symptoms, causes and treatment is being emphasized. A number of factors such as pressure at school or university or at work is causing an unprecedented level of unnecessary stress and anxiety, with thanks to social media which is accessible 24 hours of the day. Interestingly, from 2009-10 and 2013-14, the number of young people who had reported a mental health issue or struggle which had deteriorated, had drastically increased to 21% from 18%. It is becoming apparent that mental health is becoming a more prevalent and well-known issue which is in need of combating.

And what’s more. a new study by the Department of Education has exposed a worrying increase in the number of teen girls suffering from anxiety and mental health issues. The governmental body spoke to 30,000 pupils aged 14-15 and found that more than one in three teenage girls suffered from anxiety of depression, which equates to a rise of 10% in the last decade. Some professionals in mental health are now looking to call it a ‘slow-growing epidemic’ as mental health continues to reach new figures. Out of all the girls surveyed and assessed, more than 37% had illustrated three or more symptoms of distress, such as feeling worthless, unable to concentrate and anxious. The number for boy suffering the same symptoms was only 15%, a huge disparity. The research had pointed out that depression and anxiety among boys had in fact fallen since 2005.

Nick Harrop, the campaigns manager for YoungMinds, a national charity focusing on mental health, comments that much of the anxiety attributed to many young girls in the UK is to do with the ongoing challenges of 21st century life.

‘Teenage girls today face a huge range of pressures. Stress at school, body image worries, early sexualization, bullying on and offline and uncertainty about the future after school are all piling on the stress,” he tells me. “Social media also puts pressure on girls to live their lives in the public domain, to present a personal ‘brand’ from a young age, and to seek reassurance in the form of likes and shares.’

Not to mention social media is impacting negatively on the way young girls wish to look. Dr Rachel Andrew, a clinical psychologist has also commented saying ‘I think girls have never been more aware of their appearance and standards they want to achieve in how they look. There’s a difference in the way girls and boys use social media. I’m still seeing boys using it for gaming, while girls are more interested in what their peers are doing, and who seem to be leading a more successful life than them.’ She wishes to advise young girls to follow a range of people, so their feed is not homed in on a particular look or ideal, but rather to find people who inspire a career and to have some fun.

So if you think you suffering from anxiety, depression, a fear or phobia, contact me today for a free 20-minute consultation over the phone, to see how best I can help!