A report from a Harrogate-based organisation has found that 72% of young people said they had experienced mental health or well-being issues in the past year.
The research is part of a new report published by Healthwatch North Yorkshire. It says mental health services need “significant improvement” so more young people aged 16-24 can access the help they need.
As well as a survey, researchers organised focus groups at Harrogate College and Selby College to gather the views of young people.
Of those who said they had experienced poor mental health, only half said they sought help.
Reasons given for not seeking support included long waiting times to access support, the stigma surrounding mental health, and not knowing where to go.
Of those who did seek support, most respondents sought help from their GP, talked to friends and family, or got support at their school, college, or university.
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Those people who did get support from NHS services had a mixed response.
Some found the services helpful, but many raised concerns about long waiting times and fragmented services.
Helena, a young student involved with this research shared her own mental health experiences:
“Mental health and well-being are important topics that affect us all. However, this area still has a lot of stigmas around it, and there is a lot more that needs to be done to improve the mental health services across North Yorkshire and promote mental health across schools and colleges.
“Through personal experience I have come to value the importance of having support from all people, whether that is my friends or family, or the services provided locally, they are all vital in helping me to manage my own mental health.”
“I would call on all service providers in health and education to read this report and act on its recommendations and findings. Together we need to ensure that mental health services and support are equally provided cross the county.”
Read the full report here.