By Dr. David David

Mental health conditions, which include behavioural and mental health problems e.g. depression, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder), and disruptive behavioural disorders (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disturbances, substance use, suicidal behaviours, and aggressive/disruptive behaviours) are the leading causes of adjustment problems in adolescents and young people worldwide.

Mental health conditions have a significant impact on the development of over a billion youths and their social and economic integration. Nearly one fifth of the global population is comprised of youths aged 14-24 years, with 85-90 percent of this group living in low-income countries. In high-income countries, it is estimated that about 5 percent of the population have a serious mental illness.

On a global level, it is estimated that approximately 20 percent of youth experience a mental health condition each year. Young people are at greater risk of a range of mental health conditions as they transition from childhood to adulthood.

Mental health conditions during adolescence and young adulthood can have a significantly negative impact on the development of safe and healthy relationships with peers, parents, teachers, and romantic partners.

Many mental health conditions negatively affect youths’ ability to successfully form supportive and healthy relationships and manage conflict in relationships, which is particularly disconcerting given that adolescence is a critical time for identity formation and taking on roles, especially with peers. Disruptions in the ability to form and sustain interpersonal relationships can have lasting impacts on youths’ social and emotional functioning.

To rescue the global youth population from mental health destruction, the Global Youth Mental Health Awareness, Australia, GYMHA lunches out ‘Operation Catch Them Young’, aimed at improving the mental health of young people globally through her annual stress management summit revolutions and other youth-targeted mental health programmes.

Defined programmes like GYMHA’s annual stress management summit revolutions have the potential to improve youths’ access to a full range of services. This includes services for youth with mental health conditions, as well as those who struggle with learning disabilities, which often occur in tandem with mental health conditions. For instance, in GYMHA’s just concluded annual stress summit, a number of youths in several countries across the world were taught mental health in a language that they understand.

Youth-focused mental health topics were discussed. There were two master classes where young people were trained in social-emotional learning and positive behaviour supports to promote preventive measures on mental health.

To increase your knowledge on mental health issues, Global Youth Mental Health Awareness warmly welcomes you to the amazing GYMHA family. You can join GYMHA as a volunteer; attend health fairs, resource fairs, summits, and more.

Talk to someone about this article and ask them to share it with someone else. Join GYMHA to start a domino effect for awareness on mental health. Don’t be scared to talk about it. You can get more information about the resources and services offered in GYMHA.

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