Survey reveals teenagers facing constant onslaught of stress

Tamsin Fidgeon
1 Dec 2014

Exclusive figures from the Bauer Media News and YoungMinds State of Mind survey reveal teenagers under  extreme pressure from exam stress, social media, bullying  and body image and parents are battling to support them.

The survey of 16-19 year olds revealed that when it comes to exams:

  • 68% feel very stressed about not doing well in their exams and it affecting their futures 
  • 49% said they would feel devastated if they did not achieve the grades they wanted in their exams

On social media it revealed:

  • 28% said they had sent a nasty message
  • 46% said they regretted something they had said on social media

On the pressure to have a perfect body it revealed:

  • 81% said they felt under pressure to have the perfect body
  • 40% said they felt the pressure to have a perfect body came from pictures on social media

And 42% wouldn’t talk to anyone if the stress or pressure became too much for them.

The survey also revealed the worries parents of teenagers have:

  • 1 in 3 parents with a teenager have visited a GP or A&E with concerns over their child’s mental health
  • 31% of parents with a teenager find it difficult to get help and support for their child when they need it
  • 40% of parents with a teenager admit that their children have told them that they want to change how they look
  • 61% of parents with a teenager have stated that their child/children have been bullied

Commenting on the findings Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns at YoungMinds said:

“Teenagers growing up today in Britain are under a constant onslaught of stress and pressure. These findings demonstrate that teenagers are struggling to cope with the pressures they face to have the perfect body, to cope with the exam factory culture we have created for them, with bullying and with the impact online networking is having on their lives. Parents too are extremely worried about their children and feel really helpless and confused about how to support and protect them.

Our Parents Helpline, which helps over 10,000 desperately worried callers a year is under threat of closure due to a funding crisis  and if that happens we are cutting a vital lifeline which will lead to yet more families facing major problems alone. We are launching a crowdfunding campaign to save the Helpline and we hope thousands of people will donate whatever they can to help us save this vital resource.

Teenagers too need people they can trust and relate to in schools who can talk to them on their own  level about the things that worry them. We have to do all we can to increase young people’s confidence and resilience. Initiatives like the Body Gossip Self Esteem team who have taught their  self-esteem programme to over 30,000 UK teenagers are a  fantastic example of a programme that really empowers young people and helps them to feel good about themselves when there is so much around them that makes them feel negative and insecure.”

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