ONE IN TWO young people in Ireland has reported experiencing depression whilst over a quarter of young people have felt suicidal according to the findings of a new survey by UNICEF Ireland.
The charity has conducted a series of reports into mental health and well-being amongst young people in Ireland.
The report also found that one in five people report that they have self-harmed, and more than one in ten report that they have suffered from anorexia or bulimia.
The results are based on a sample of 508 teenagers, aged between 16 and 20, who were responding to an online survey.
Chief executive of UNICEF Ireland Melanie Verwoerd said that “the scale and importance of the task of promoting positive adolescent mental health should not be underestimated” following the findings.
Some of the principal findings of the first of the reports, part of a series entitled ‘Changing the Future’, found that:
- 50 per cent of young Irish people report that they had felt or suffered from depression in the past.
- 26 per cent report that they have felt or suffered from feeling suicidal in the past.
- 20 per cent reported that they have felt or have suffered from self-harming in the past.
- 13 per cent reported that they have felt or suffered from anorexia or bulimia in the past.
- Only 14 per cent specifically reported that they had not felt or suffered from any of these mental health problems in the past.
- Only 18 per cent who report the problem to be on-going report that they are receiving help from any source.
UNICEF said that there was a significantly lower proportion of younger people who report that they are getting help which grows as respondents age increases.
The report also found that girls suffered more with mental health problems and depression and were more likely to self-harm.
Verwoerd added that there “an implicit responsibility upon systems of child protection and care to engage young people at the time that they are experiencing difficulty”.