A snapshot of youth

It is normal for young people to feel unhappy and low every now and then, however if these feelings don’t pass or become severe, it could be a sign they’re suffering from depression. Depression is a mental health illness with specific symptoms so to find out more – because it’s important to know the difference between depression and normal low feelings – visit depression.org.nz or The Lowdown.

Here are some facts and figures on young people. 

Youth and mental health

  • 28.6 per cent of young people aged 16 to 24 reported having experienced a mental health disorder in the previous 12 months.
  • Anxiety disorders (17.7 per cent) were most common among young people aged 16 to 24, followed by mood disorders (12.7 per cent), substance use disorders (9.6 per cent) and eating disorders (0.6 per cent).
  • Young people aged 16 to 24 reported the highest rates of any mental health disorder, while those aged 65 years or more reported  the lowest rates.
  • Among young people aged 16 to 24, anxiety and mood disorders are more common among females than males.
  • Young men aged 16 to 24 are more likely than women to have a substance disorder (12.8 per cent of young men compared to 6.0 per cent of young women).

Youth and alcohol

  • Young people aged 18 to 24 years were more than twice as likely as those in any other age group to engage in weekly heavy drinking.
  • The Youth’07 Survey found that 23.2 percent of secondary school students had travelled in a car driven by an alcohol-impaired driver in the previous four weeks.
  • 8.1 percent had driven a car after drinking more than two glasses of alcohol in the two hours before driving in the last month.

Youth and self esteem

  • Feeling happy, confident and positive about themselves and their own abilities improves young people’s willingness to try new things and to persist in the face of setbacks.
  • However, one in 10 (10.7 per cent) of young people surveyed disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were happy with their looks, and nearly a fifth (18.2 percent) disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were happy with their weight.

For more information


Published: 13 December 2012