Large number of youngsters say they are affected by depression, stress and anxiety in Northamptonshire

Healthwatch Northamptonshire's Young Persons Wellbeing Report shows 43 per cent of young people say they are affected by stress.

Healthwatch Northamptonshire's Young Persons Wellbeing Report shows 43 per cent of young people say they are affected by stress.

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About 15 per cent of young people in Northamptonshire feel depressed ‘most of the time’, a study suggests.

Between September 2014 and January 2015, Healthwatch Northamptonshire asked 527 young people, between the ages of 11 and 25, about any mental health issues that affect them.

The findings showed that 42 per cent of the respondents said the thing that most negatively affected their daily lives was ‘stress’.

A total of 25 per cent said ‘fitting in’ was the most negative thing in their lives and 24 per cent cited ‘anxiety’.

But Healthwatch Northamptonshire said the most concerning result showed that 36 per cent of young people considered themselves to be in a ‘negative’ mood most of the time.

About 15 per cent of young people said they were mainly ‘depressed’.

The report stated: “This seems a concerning amount to feel that way most of the time.

“The results of this survey are useful for local health and social care decision makers in planning, delivering and promoting local services for young people.”

The findings of the Young Person’s Wellbeing Report are to be discussed at the full Northamptonshire County Council meeting on Thursday, March 19.

Other concerning issues found in the report showed that nine per cent of young people said ‘suicide’ most negatively affected them, whereas eight per cent said it was ‘self-harm’ and a further eight per cent said ‘eating orders’.

The Healthwatch study also found that 35 per cent of the young people questioned did not know where to go “if they needed help”.

The organisation has made four recommendations in light of the report’s findings.

It said health and social care partners needed to “share evidence on the causes of stress for young people” and it said Healthwatch Northamptonshire should work with Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to “radically improve the quality of child and adolescent mental health services.”