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How often do mental health problems occur in young people?

Some figures about how often mental problems occur in young people.
© University Medical Center Groningen

You have probably found different numbers. That is not surprising, because mental health problems is a broad term.

The answer to the question How often do mental health problems occur in young people? depends on which problems you mean and the period of time you look at. The longer this period is, the more often the problem will occur.

To still give you an impression of how often certain mental health problems occur, you can find below the results of a research on a large group of young people from the north of the Netherlands. This research shows that:

  • almost half of all teenagers (45%) between 18 and 20 years old have had one or more mental health problems in their life. This included mood disorders (like depression), anxiety (like panic attacks) and behavioural disorders (such as ADHD).

  • about half of these cases are considered severe mental health problems.

  • when you only look at the last year, 1 in 3 teenagers (31%) had suffered from mental health problems.

Unfortunately, there are many prejudices about mental health problems. Some people think, for instance, that people with mental health problems are weird or weak, whereas that is not the case. This is a shame, as it can cause people to be ashamed about their problems and stop them from talking about it. That can cause feelings of loneliness and will make it more difficult to get the right help. Hopefully, this course can reduce the prejudices people have mental health problems.

© University Medical Center Groningen
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Young People and Mental Health

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