Australian youth believe their mental health is worsening: survey

Young Australians believe their mental health is declining across the country, with around two thirds believing it is worsening, new data has found.

Research by Headscape involving a survey of young Australians aged 12 to 25 released on Wednesday revealed 62 per cent of youth feeling it is deteriorating.

A large number of respondents said social media was the reason for declining mental health, with 37 per cent placing the blame on social media apps including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

However, only 18 per cent blamed expectations from family, school and communities.

Work and study pressures were the third biggest problem with eight per cent blaming political, social and environmental factors.

Drugs and alcohol was one of the smallest contributors at five per cent.

Headscape said social media had a huge negative presence for young people.

“A young person’s real-world persona and online persona are so intertwined these days,” chief executive Jason Trethowan said.

“We need to be clear about the fact that these platforms are designed in a specific way to keep young people online, and that reducing use is not always as simple as it sounds.”

Headscape said there were things young people could do to improve mental health, including spending time outdoors and being active, eating healthy, reducing their online activity and getting more sleep.

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