Young people seek mental health help online

Young people seek mental health help online

By Liz Lockhart

A new survey shows that, when it comes to mental health problems, young people are likely to seek help online rather than from traditional services.

The report ‘Learning to Reach Out' shows that many young people turn to the internet after coming away from appointments with health professionals feeling dissatisfied.  The research was carried out by

It shows that:

  • 35% of respondents had previously turned to health professionals for help when suffering from emotional difficulties.
  • 72% of young people had sought help from friends
  • 55% had sought help from family members
  • 41% of those who had spoken to a health professional in the past were unlikely or very unlikely to do so again
  • 91% of respondents agreed that anyone could experience a mental health problem
  • 59% would not want other people to know if they were experiencing emotional difficulties
  • Nearly half of the respondents rated their understanding of who to talk to about a tough time as  only ‘OK’ or ‘not good at all’

The study consisted of an online survey of 523 respondents 

This research highlights the importance of the internet to promote mental health awareness to young people.  Another survey suggests that men also prefer to go online for resources as a first point of access when they have mental health issues.

‘This valuable research illustrates that professional dedicated online resources, while not a replacement for face-to-face mental health support, play a unique and complementary role by facilitating young people in identifying and getting help for mental health difficulties’ said  Kathleen Lynch, Minister of State with Responsibility for Mental Health. 

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