Senator Gabrielle McFadden.
Senator, Gabrielle McFadden is calling on Minister for Mental Health, Helen McEntee TD to prioritise youth mental health in the Midlands.
“The top things that young people identify as ‘hurting’ their mental health include stigma, stress, isolation, a lack of supports and services, and family, friends and relationships,” said Senator McFadden.
She continued, “Hobbies and activities, support structures, keeping busy and relationships were the top selected elements that ‘help’ young people’s mental health.
“Accessible and informal mental health services can play a vital role in connecting with young people. Services such as Jigsaw, which is free to access and does not require GP referral are more informal and attractive to young people. I would urge the Minister to make Athlone, as the largest town in the Midlands, a priority in the rollout of such services.”
According to the 2013 report “The Mental Health Of Young People in Ireland” one in five young Irish adults aged 19-24 and one in 6 young people aged 11-13 were experiencing mental disorder at the time they took part in two studies on mental disorders among Irish youth.
The research also found that experiencing mental ill-health in early life places young people at increased risk of further episodes of mental ill-health during their adult years.