“Almost half” of Welsh young people have experienced mental illness

3 March 2017

A survey has found that almost half of sixteen to twenty-five year olds in Wales have had mental health problems.

The survey also found that a quarter of young people who’d experienced mental illness didn’t seek help.

It was carried out by you.gov for The Prince’s Trust and questioned more than 2,200 young people across the UK.

Si Martin runs Cardiff-based charity Heads Above The Waves, which helps young people with mental health problems find ways of dealing with them rather than self-harming.

He says many young people he sees are struggling because they are LGBT, growing up in deprived areas, or because they are being bullied on social media.

Speaking about his own experience when he was a teenager, he said, “It was kind of like when you’ve got a pot that’s boiling over. All the pressure just builds up and builds up, and you just need to lift the lid off and let it cool back down again, but I didn’t really have that.

Si Martin

Si Martin

“I’d have an argument with someone, or I’d get frustrated because I couldn’t do my homework, and I’d take it out on myself.”

He managed to overcome self-harming through music and started Heads Above The Waves to share his story.

He said, “Self-harm is serving some sort of purpose to someone, and there’s other ways of meeting that same purpose.

“There are better ways of coping; that’s the main thing.”

Chris Harris, Mental Health Advisor for The Prince’s Trust, said, “We know that many young people in Wales are struggling with mental health issues, and there is a very real risk that the stigma attached to mental health is preventing them from seeking the support they need”.

Photo courtesy of The Prince’s Trust.

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