The theme of this year's World Mental Health Day is “young people and mental health in a changing world”.
Read more about adolescent mental health here.
Fortunately, there's a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience to cope with life. Promoting and protecting young people's health benefits not only them but also benefits the economy and society as a whole, with healthy young adults able to make greater contributions to the workforce, their families, communities and society as a whole.
Much can be done to help build mental resilience from an early age, to help prevent mental illness and to manage and recover from mental illness. Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness. Teaching life skills to deal with everyday challenges is one way. Psychological support from schools and community settings is another.
The World Health Organisation also believes that investment by governments and the involvement of the social, health and education sectors in integrated, evidence-based programmes for young people's mental health is essential. This investment should be linked to programmes to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health and to help peers, parents and teachers know how to support their friends, children and students.
There’s also an excellent report (see below) from the World Mental Health Foundation that looks at the topics relevant to teenage mental health and how to deal with them, including:
The global burden of disease attributable to mental disorders has risen in all countries in the context of major demographic, environmental and socio-political transitions. There's an excellent report by the Lancet Commission on global mental health, that's a must-read for anyone interested in mental health, defining it through the human lifespan and the steps that need to be taken to improve mental health across the world.
See also Dr Justin Varney's fantastic infographic on UK mental health statistics.