A greater focus must be awarded to not only depression and other forms of mental health but special attention needs to be paid to our youth. Today’s youth, however, must also be informed of the various programs and assistance that is available to them. Addressing the issue of mental health requires extensive ongoing contact with the person suffering. In today’s technologically advanced society, the Internet is more accessible then it has ever been before. This has resulted in the majority of our youth’s communication taking place online through various social networking sites.
Thus, in order to effectively contact the younger generations, it must be done so through the Internet. Health professionals on a global scale have exploited this avenue of communication and, as outline by Frank Quintal, it’s working. “Online services do seem to also be making mental health services accessible to people who may not otherwise seek treatment,” (Molly 2013). As there are many advantages of this service including the 2417 around the clock help they can receive.
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Younger people are generally more reluctant to walk into a clinic than adults. They eel at such a young age they shouldn’t be feeling depressed, that something is wrong with them and talking to someone about such an issue is the last thing they want to do. Online services remove all the embarrassment accompanied with face-to- face communication and is a preferred form of help amongst youth today as they can speak to someone anonymously from the comfort of their own home.
Although, online services has many benefits, face-to-face communication should not be cancelled out as there is a variety of face-to-face services available and some mental illnesses can’t be treated without contact face-to-face. Educating young teens about mental health is the key to preventing it, understanding what can trigger it and how they can control it. “Around 75 per cent of all severe mental illness starts before the age of 24” (Government of Western Australia 2010).
Hard-hitting facts such as these must be communicated to today’s youth to highlight the importance of good mental health. Targeting younger generations through education in schools will immensely reduce the number of mental illnesses since a large majority of cases develop during school years. “The promotion of mental health equals the reduction of numbers of people with mental illness in a community’ (Sertorius 2008). By targeting the social and economical factors of mental health, this will strengthen the understanding in ways to support and achieve good mental health. Mental health can be directly or indirectly supported through a range of activity in other domains, such as improving health literacy, reducing alcohol misuse, improving educational outcomes or preventing violence” (Department of Health 2011) In order for the problem of mental health in youth to receive more national attention, funding, health services and education, awareness must be raised about the issue. People must be made aware of the seriousness of the problem and the effects it has on our youth. Once people become aware of the issues, they will in turn allocate it more funding and increase community participation.
The government will recognize the people’s interest in the topic and will also, in turn, take steps forward to reducing mental health in youth. Youths, particularly in schools, are apart of a vulnerable group to mental health, as they face challenges such as peer pressure and need support from the community. By strengthening the relationships that are already present in an individual’s life enhances their sense of care, support and belongingness. Even with the “prevention is a better approach that a cure” Anionic 2012) mentality it is still important that treatments and other help are always available to youths in society.
Everyone needs support to develop their identity and independence and the need to belong and connect with social groups. It is evident that people at this age are experiencing a lot of pressure and support is critical in their lives. “The focus on youth help seeking is n response to the low rate of professional service use evident at this stage of life – a clear mismatch with the high level of need” (Rockford, Raphael and Pilgrim 2011) Youths can be given professional help from groups such as Headrace who offer anonymous help and are a foundation for mental health.
They understand youths are reluctant to seeking help on their own. They offer support for mental health and counseling, their “primary focus is the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians” (Headrace 2013). Another program is the intensive mobile youth outreach support that manages mental health in adolescents. Through anonymous programs, kids are more likely to seek help. There are a variety of cultural, psychological and social pressures that are stimulants for poor mental health.
It is, therefore, no surprise that younger people are constantly being diagnosed more frequently with mental disorders. Dual diagnosis is an area which is associated with significant mental disability related to drug use; it is the idea that “one condition may cause the other,” (Youth action and policy association 2006). This means that any pre-existing mental condition may lead to there implications such as alcohol abuse, however, those with a pre-existing alcohol problem are more susceptible to incurring a mental disability (Youth action and policy association 2006).
The ideas explored by Rockford, Raphael and Pilgrim (2011) are that mental conditions such as depression and anxiety are becoming the most common mental disability in youths, which are recognized as ‘cognitive distortions’ due to the stage in which youths are becoming more prevalent which is called a ‘negative problem orientation’. This shows that a variety of pressures are placed on days youth that impacts their mental health negatively. Without sufficient support, it is possible that these issues may become worse or permanent.