Young people are ignorant about mental health and most would
hide it if they became a sufferer, a survey has revealed.
Publication of the research marks the launch of the youth
element of a government campaign, ‘mind out for mental health’ to
combat the stigma and fear surrounding mental health.
The ‘Tomorrow Minds’ research among young people aged 16-24
showed that eight out of 10 young people believe that having a
mental health problem would lead to discrimination.
Racist language was considered taboo by the young people
surveyed, but only a third considered using words like ‘psycho’ or
‘schizo’ unacceptable, and over 60 per cent of young people
admitted using such derogatory language.
More than half of those surveyed said they would not want anyone
else to know they had a mental health problem.
The research launched in partnership with the National
Schizophrenia Fellowship and the National Union of Students also
revealed that young people were ignorant of what constitutes a
mental health problem.
Gary Oldman, head of NSF’s policy and campaigns, said: ‘The fact
that many young people wouldn’t want people to know they had a
mental health problem stood out for me as particularly
John Hutton, health minister, said: ‘By working in partnership
with business, mental health organisations and voluntary sector
groups the campaign is delivering the message that people must stop
being part of the problems and change their mindset about mental
The survey conducted by Opinion Leaders Research involved a
survey of 500 young people and research with focus groups.
* Young women know more than men about mental health with 15 per
cent of men unable to name a mental illness compared to only 6 per
cent of young women, according to research carried out by MORI for
the NSF. The MORI survey also found a general lack of awareness
among young people about discrimination in mental health.