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One in Four girls are Depressed at the age of 14
A government-funded study has shockingly revealed that 24% of 14 year old girls, along with 9% of boys the same age, have depression; this means that around 166,000 girls and 67,000 boys of that age across the UK are depressed.
Their symptoms are reported to include feeling tired, lonely, and miserable as well as hating themselves. The findings from the research, conducted by University College London and the University of Liverpool, have provoked fresh questions as to how body image, social media and school stresses are affecting young people’s mental health.
Marc Bush, the chief policy adviser at the Charity Young Minds commented:
“We know that teenage girls face a huge range of pressures, including stress at school, body image issues, bullying, and the pressure created by social media. Difficult experiences in childhood – including bereavement, domestic violence or neglect – can also have a serious impact, often several years down the line.”
In the study, the teenagers were asked to rate how true 13 statements were in relation to themselves. The girls answered “true” or “sometimes” the most, to the following 4 statements:
The Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, Janet Davies, suggested that a drop in the number of school nurses was making it increasingly difficult to identify young people with mental health problems. Meanwhile, Theresa May has made young people’s mental health one of her top priorities, with a government green paper due soon.
According to NHS England, mental health care for under-18s is increasing. A spokesperson said: “This year the NHS will treat an additional 30,000 children and young people, supported by an additional £280m of funding.”