Mental Health Help Seeking in Young Adults

Caroline Mitchell, Brian McMillan, Teresa Hagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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There is clinical and research consensus that significant cognitive, social, emotional development and adjustment to physical changes occurs during young adulthood, in the period between 18 and 24 years. Whilst three quarters of psychiatric disorders in adults emerge before the age of 25 years , a European study, comparing access to mental healthcare by age bands, reported that 18-24 year old participants were least likely to get care for mental health problems. In the 2016 UK National Confidential Enquiry into Suicide in Children and Young People, 43% of people under the age of 25 who died had no known prior contact with any agencies. Understanding the risk factors and triggers for mental health problems in young adults is crucial, however we also need to know more about how young adults seek help, if we wish to improve the quality and outcomes of mental healthcare. Early interventions may improve the prognosis of primary mental health disorders in young adults and reduce the risk of chronicity and progression to more severe secondary disorders, but research led innovation in mental health care is also hampered by delayed diagnostic assessment and care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-9
Number of pages2
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number654
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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