Eight out of ten children (79%) as young as 12 and 13 have reported feelings associated with poor mental health since starting secondary school, a new survey commissioned by stem4 has found.
Topping the list of anxieties among 12- to-16 year-olds are exam worries (41%); work overload (31%); friendship concerns (28%) and worries about being accepted by their peers (23%); lack of confidence (26%); concerns with body image (26%); low self–esteem (15%), and feelings of being overwhelmed (25%). One in ten teenagers even reported strong feelings of anxiety around current world affairs.
These issues are now commonplace among 12-to-16 year olds – 79% of them reported feelings of stress and distress since starting secondary school – so it is no surprise to learn that two-thirds of parents have concerns over their children’s mental health.
Parents fear that poor mental health will leave their children: unable to enjoy their teenage years (35%); isolated, with no friends (26%); unable to access suitable treatment to help them recover (20%); struggling to achieve good grades and failing to get into a good university (17%), and liable to suffer from poor mental health as adults if they do not benefit from suitable support sooner rather than later (28%).
stem4’s poll was featured in an article in The Guardian on Sunday 26th March.