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56% of young people keep mental health concerns to themselves

Wednesday 7th March 2018
Many young people in the UK feel they have no one to confide in, putting their mental health at risk, a new report reveals. Image: AntonioGuillem via iStock
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More than half (56 per cent) of 18 to 25-year-olds in the UK keep problems they are facing to themselves, which could be having a negative impact on their mental health.

This is one of the findings of a report published by UK Youth to mark the launch of its new #KeepMeSafe campaign, part of National Safeguarding Month in Britain.

A total of 1,000 young people were surveyed for the report, which found that one in ten of those aged between 18 and 25 feel as though they have no one to turn to or confide in, leaving them feeling lonely and isolated as a result.

What's more, it was found that many members of this age group spend at least six hours every day feeling stressed or anxious, indicating that a significant number of young people in the UK are struggling with their mental health.

Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents revealed they had experienced problems in the past that they had ended up facing alone due to feeling unable to confide in anyone. This is despite 18 to 25-year-olds having an average of 165 social media friends, demonstrating that a reliance on online friendships could be preventing people from connecting with others in real life.

Indeed, more than 40 per cent of those questioned said they believed social media to be fuelling their stress and anxiety levels. Over half of young adults admitted using platforms such as Facebook and Instagram led them to compare themselves to their peers.

The #KeepMeSafe team compiled a list of the top 20 worries today's 18 to 25-year-olds share, which saw money come in first place, followed by the future, their appearance, weight, health and getting a job. Other common concerns on the list included not being able to buy a house, pressure to meet deadlines or goals, exams, student debt and finding a partner.

Commenting on the survey's findings, a spokesperson for UK Youth stated: "It's concerning to see just how long young people spend feeling worried or stressed and how many of them have to go through these issues alone, without anyone to turn to for advice and guidance.

"Despite living in our ever-connected world, young people need safe spaces more than ever."

Written by Angela Newbury

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