The transition to adulthood is an extremely challenging period of life in which young people are maturing physically, mentally, personally and socially. Mental health is such an important issue across all age groups and experiences of mental illness can have profound impacts on the wellbeing of young people.
Young people turn to their family and friends in a time of need, including those young people with a probable serious mental illness. We must, therefore, ensure these young people have the information and skills needed to provide the support young people require and link them to other sources of support.
Schools work hard to provide mental health and well-being supports to their students and we already expect a lot of them, but they are the universal access point for young people. More could be done to provide evidence-based early intervention and prevention programs with adequate funding and resourcing.
Young people who do not receive the mental health supports, they need, can face many challenges including homelessness, however, through early intervention and prevention programs we can reach out to young people if they are uncomfortable or unable to seek help.
Mental health has continued to grow as an issue of concern for young people and despite recent efforts, the numbers of young people experiencing psychological distress continue to rise. This is not an issue that we can afford to ignore.