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How social media is contributing to health crisis among women

By Mirror | Published Mon, December 25th 2017 at 12:04, Updated December 25th 2017 at 12:13 GMT +3
(Photo: Courtesy)

More than a quarter of young women are now suffering from mental illness, a national health survey shows.

NHS Digital revealed rising levels of mental ill health across both sexes and almost all groups in its Health Survey for England.

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Women aged 16 to 24 fared worst, with 28% providing detailed answers which suggest probable mental ill health.

Experts have blamed social media and body-image pressures for rising numbers of people turning up at A&E in crisis.

It comes as campaigners call for more resources to be devoted to mental health services.

The so-called GHQ-12 questionnaire asks participants about their general levels of happiness, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and self-confidence.

The proportion of adults recording probable mental ill health increased from 15% in 2012 to 19% in 2016.

In 2012, the survey suggested 21% of women aged 16 to 24 were mentally ill – up to 28% in 2016.

Gillian Prior, editor of the Health Survey for England, said: “The proportion of people with probable mental ill health has risen since 2012, particularly among young men and women. This evidence gives further support to the widespread concern about the mental health of young people.”

In 2012, 9% of men in both the 16-24 and 25-34 age brackets had probable mental ill health. This has increased to 16% and 18% respectively in 2016.

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'Crisis as the pressure hits youngsters'

We are facing a mental health crisis for children and young people.

Teens face pressures including stress at school, bullying, body issues and the added burden of the 24/7 online world.

Girls may also be affected by early sexualisation, and the feeling that their life needs to be as flawless as pictures in news feeds.

It takes a lot of courage for a young person to reach out for help, but too often it’s not available. That’s why there needs to be sufficient funding as well as a focus on wellbeing in schools.


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