Here you’ll find information to help you better understand mental health for young people. And just as well when you consider the following statistics:

1 in 4 experience mental health problems

1 in 4 young people aged 16-24 experience mental health problems during adolescence.

Depression a leading cause of disability

Depression is one of the leading causes of disability among 15-24 years olds in Australia.

Over 75% don't seek help

Over 75% of adolescents with serious mental health problems don’t seek proper help.

What are the signs parents can look out for?

It can often be difficult to get young people to open up about how they’re feeling. But there are some common early signs of mental health problems that parents can look out for:

  • Feeling sad or crying for no apparent reason.
  • Having trouble concentrating or remembering things.
  • Feeling unusually stressed or worried.
  • Not enjoying nor wanting to be involved in things that they normally enjoy.
  • Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns.
  • Feeling irritable or having problems with friends and family for no reason.
  • Feeling distracted with work or study.
  • Having negative, distressing, bizarre or unusual thoughts.

Talking about mental health with your children

It’s really important for young people to feel comfortable and supported when talking about their problems openly and honestly. Be mindful not to dismiss their feelings by telling them to “get over it”, or that they’re just going through a phase. It’s also perfectly normal to not understand how they’re feeling and that help is always available.

Where to get help

Given that mental health issues generally surfaces before the age of 25, there are a range of specific support services available to young adults and their parents.

Getting help early is important. If you believe your child or someone you know may be going through difficulties right now, please call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or LifeLine on 13 11 14.


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