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.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news