Mental health conditions common amongst young British women, says study

A new study suggests that mental health conditions and psychological distress are common amongst young women aged between 16-24 – but that many young people are failing to seek support.

The latest Adult Psychiatric Morbidity survey of mental health and wellbeing suggests that young women are increasingly likely to encounter difficulties with the likes of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

The study suggests that more than one in four women aged 16-24 have reported symptoms of common mental health conditions at some point within the last year.

However, despite the fact that many young people will consult their GP for help and advice, only 20 per cent of women aged 16-24 have received treatment for such conditions within the last 12 months.

Lead researcher Sally McManus suggested that an increasing number of young people were turning towards the internet and social media for support.

She said: “When I think about this generation now, the biggest change has been in technology. It is not all bad. It can be a good thing – you get access to like-minded people and find different treatment options. But not enough”.

She added that the research revealed a “gender gap” in mental illness amongst young people – as it found that only nine per cent of young men had reported symptoms of mental health conditions in the last year in comparison.