What adolescents told us about services they used, other sources of support and what else they did to help themselves
Young people aged 13 years and older were asked to provide information on the health, school and telephone counselling services that they used, as well as if they had used the internet to help them with emotional and behavioural problems. They also provided their perspective on whether their needs for help were met, as well as barriers to seeking help.
Services and support
In addition to receiving health and school services, young people used a variety of other sources of support for their emotional and behavioural problems.
Of all young people aged 13-17 years 3.6% reported using telephone counselling.
Just over a fifth (22.2%) of 13-17 year‑olds had used internet services. - 10.0% used online assessment tools. - 4.4% used online self-help. - 3.1% participated in a chat room or online support group. - 1.7% received online personal support or counselling.
Three fifths (62.9%) of adolescents reported receiving informal help or support for emotional and behavioural problems, most often from parents and friends. The proportion was much higher at 93.9% for adolescents with major depressive disorder based on self-report.
Behaviours to assist with mental health
Two thirds (66.4%) of adolescents reported other strategies to help them manage any emotional or behavioural problems that they may have had or to avoid having problems.
More often they did positive things, such as doing more exercise or taking up a sport (37.9%), doing more activities they enjoyed (45.1%), seeking support from friends (24.4%) and improving their diet (23.2%).
Just under one in 12 (7.9%) reported smoking cigarettes, or using alcohol or drugs to help. The proportion was much higher at 31.5% for adolescents with major depressive disorder based on self-report.
Perceived need for help
Four fifths (82.4%) of 13-17 year-olds reported needing some type of help for emotional and behavioural problems in the previous 12 months. Of these, three quarters (76.8%) had their needs fully or partially met.
The proportions needing help and whose needs were met were far higher for those with more severe disorders, with 90.6% of 13‑17 year-olds with major depressive disorder based on self-report indicating they had needed help and 88.0% that these needs were met in the previous 12 months.
Barriers to seeking help or receiving more help
The most common reasons for not seeking help or receiving more help given by 13-17 year-old adolescents with major depressive disorder based on self‑report were related to stigma or poor mental health literacy. - 62.9% worried what other people might think or not want to talk to a stranger. - 61.7% thought the problem would get better by itself. - 57.1% wanted to work out the problem on their own or with help from family or friends.
If you or your child needs help with a mental health problem or if you have any concerns and are unsure if you or your child may need assistance, you can visit your regular GP or contact any of the following services: