Young adults need better mental health support, says RCPsych

Statement / comment
26 February 2024

Young people are now more likely to experience a common mental disorder (CMD) than any other age group, according to a new report. The Resolution Foundation has warned this is a complete reversal compared to two decades ago when young adults were the least likely age group to develop a CMD. 

The report highlights that poor mental health is disrupting young people's education and leading to more people being in lower-paid jobs or unemployed. 

Responding to the report, Dr Lade Smith CBE, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

“This report demonstrates the significant toll common mental disorders are taking not only on young people’s health but also their ability to pursue meaningful and rewarding work.

“Increasingly, mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are affecting young adults' ability to succeed at university and find employment. This in turn can exacerbate their symptoms further and make it harder for them to reach their full potential.

“The mental health of current and future generations will be defined by how we respond to this crisis, and we can no longer afford to treat mental illness in a vacuum. Mental health must be a first thought, not an afterthought. The Government, NHS, educational institutions and employers must all work together to provide young people with the support and care they need to thrive.”

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