News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Focus needed on youth mental health


Focus needed on youth mental health


There is a need for on-going youth mental health monitoring and interventions, given a small decline in aspects of self-reported mental health among New Zealand secondary school students.

That was the conclusion from a study by University of Auckland researchers into rates of youth mental health self-reporting changes between 2007 and 2012.

The study team led by a senior lecturer in Paediatrics, Dr Terry Fleming, examined data from an earlier Youth12 survey of 8500 secondary school students. This particular study looked at student well-being, symptoms of depression, periods of low moods, suicidal ideation or attempts, and deliberate self-harm.

“It shows that the mental health of secondary school students in New Zealand does require further attention,” says Dr Fleming. “There is also a need for ongoing monitoring and for interventions that promote wellbeing and prevent mental ill health.”

“Consistent with previous research, we report higher rates of emotional symptoms among females and older students,” says Dr Fleming. “Overall, the mental wellbeing of students appears to have deteriorated slightly with small increases in significant depressive symptoms, periods of low mood, emotional symptoms, deliberately self-harming, experiencing hyperactivity and suffering from peer problems.”

“Fewer students reported conduct problems in 2012,” says Dr Fleming. “There have been no substantial changes to self-reported suicide ideation or attempts since 2007.”

Changes in mental health indicators were similar for male and female students, older and younger students, and according to other demographic features such as ethnicity, locale and deprivation.

“This study shows a possible decline, or in a conservative interpretation, a lack of improvement in secondary school students’ reports of mental health symptoms,” she says. “New Zealand has made substantial gains in areas of youth substance use and driving. Teenagers are now less likely to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or smoke marijuana and less likely to drink and drive than they were in 2007.”

“We have seen massive improvements in motor vehicle crash deaths. Now the challenge is to improve youth mental health,” she says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Snow Business: Coronet Peak Turns 70

In 1947 Coronet Peak in Queenstown opened with just a rope tow pulling keen skiers up a mountain, the first commercial ski field to open in New Zealand. More>>

Howard Davis: 'Dunkirk'

The British have an extraordinary penchant for celebrating catastrophic military defeats. It is not only the Battle of Hastings, the Charge of the Light Brigade, and Gallipoli that have become immortalized in prose, poetry, and movies ...
More>>

Conservation: Gecko Stolen From DOC Visitor Centre

A long-term resident at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre has been stolen. The Marlborough green gecko was reported missing on 19 July. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Rare Ingredients

When I heard Kiazim was publishing a cookbook, I jumped at the opportunity... I was back in New Zealand, but how hard could it be to create Turkish-Cypriot cuisine on the opposite side of the world? Well, it turns out — pretty damn hard. More>>

Remembrance: British Memorial Design Revealed

After years of work with Weta Workshop, the British High Commission has revealed the final design of the United Kingdom’s presence in Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: The Whole Intimate Mess

Alison McCulloch: Walker’s account of what she went through is harrowing and intimate, and, at risk of sounding trite, very brave. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland