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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Early help could help teens with mental health issues

15th April 2014

Mental health problems are distressing. Up to 850,000 children and young people in the UK had a diagnosed mental health problem, and many more go undiagnosed.

Teenage BoyA new Australian study, followed a group of teenagers for 16 years, to see how likely problems are to persist into adulthood.

 1,943 teenagers were randomly selected from schools across Victoria, Australia. They were assessed every six months for three years and then followed up when the participants where 20-21, 24-25 and 28-29 years old.

  • The study found that nearly 30% of boys and over 50% of girls reported high scores on the measures of anxiety and low mood at at least one point during their teens.
  • Almost 60% went on to report difficulties in at least one of the adult follow-up checks.
  • The strongest predictor of difficulties as an adult was having a longer duration of difficulty, and multiple episodes of difficulty as a teen.

The study highlights the need for early intervention and good provision of mental health services for children and young people, and the need for increased watchfulness for those individuals who have had multiple periods of low mood or worry during their teenage years.

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