A Comprehensive Exploration of Mental Health Among Young People

Introduction

The World Health Organisation (WHO) informs that mental health is referred to well-being state of an individual in which they realise their personal abilities, able to cope with normal stress of life, able to work fruitfully and productively and can make proper contribution to their community (WHO, 2020). The mental health issues are faced by wider age group of people that is from children to adolescent to older people due to the multiple changes in their physical, social and emotional environment. In this study, the mental health of young people is to be discussed to determine the nature of mental issues faced by them and the factors which are leading to such condition.

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Background of the Study

According to WHO, the young people are those who are within the age of 15-24 years (WHO, 2020a). It is seen that most of the young people during their adolescent years mostly face hindered support from the wider communities and family to control the changes such as availing greater autonomy, peer pressure in the society, increased use of technology, complex relationships and others making them vulnerable to face mental health issues. This is because the effect of the lack of support negatively impacts the young people’s mind and emotional thinking making them unable to properly control their mental health (Fowler et al. 2017). The WHO informs that globally nearly half of the mental health problems arise among individuals by 14 years of age and the rest 3/4th by mid-20s (WHO, 2018). Therefore, the study is framed to determine the types of mental health problems along with the factors and causes that lead to raise mental health problems among young people. This is because it would help to provide a detailed overview regarding the mental health problems faced by the young people and the activities and aspects that are responsible for raising the problem making it one of the vulnerable health issues faced by most of the young people in the world.

Rationale of the Study

The prevalence of mental health problems among young people in the UK is found to be at increased rates. This is evident as reported in 2017 nearly 16.9% of the young people of 17-19 years of age are suffering from mental health disorder or problems in the country. Moreover, the data revealed that 8.1% of young people and children of 5-19 years are facing emotional disorder as the prevalent mental health problem (digital.nhs.uk, 2017). In another statistics, it is informed that young women between 16-24 years are three times (26%) more likely to face mental health problem compared to men (9%) of the same age range (theguardian.com, 2016). This informs that mental health problems among the young people is at a vulnerable state in the UK and requires effective focus to determine its cause and factors leading to the problems so that appropriate steps can be taken to resolve the issue.

The UK statistics mention that 75% of the young people in the UK who are experiencing mental health issues are unable to receive proper treatment. This lead to worsening the condition as more young people are facing major mental health complications making them unable to have a normal life and proper well-being (childrenssociety.org.uk, 2018). Thus, mental health problem among young people has become an issue as it is interfering with their everyday life and development to ensure well-being. This has further become an issue as mental health issues among young people and adults in the UK are leading the NHS to spend over £100 billion every year (childrenssociety.org.uk, 2018). Thus, the issue regarding mental health problem among young people is to be explored so that effective actions can be taken to control its impact on the people which would help to lower expenditure of the NHS, the UK as well as act in the betterment of well-being and quality of life of the young people. Therefore, the study will shed light on the nature of health problems faced by young people along with the causes and risk factors related to them to determine the intervention required to manage the condition.

Aim

The aim of the study is to analyse mental health problems among young people to determine the nature, cause and risk factors leading to raise the issue.

Research Objectives

To identify the nature of mental health problems faced by young people

To analyse the factors and causes of mental health problems among young people

To evaluate the challenges faced due to mental health problems among young people

To recommend strategies for managing mental health problems among young people

Research Hypothesis

H0= Mental health problems in young people negatively affect their health

H1= Mental health problems in young people have no impact on their health

Literature Review

The mental problems are referred to wide range of mental health issues which affects the moods, behaviour and thinking of individuals (Gellatly et al. 2019). The study by Barker et al. (2019) which is was a systematic review mentioned that analysing mental health information of people of 16-25 years of age it was seen that prevalence of anxiety among them is 28.5% whereas the prevalence of depression is 14.3%. In comparison, the study by Gustavson et al. (2018) mentioned that selected participants who are of 19-29 years of age are regarded as young people. The evaluation of their health revealed that 19.8% of men and 32.4% of women are suffering from anxiety disorder, 2.5% men and 6.9% of women are suffering from anxiety disorder that excludes the phobias. The study mentions that 8.7% of men and 4.4% of women are suffering from alcohol misuse disorder. In contrast, the study by Pascoe et al. (2019) mentioned that young people also suffer from stress which deteriorates their mental health condition. This is evident from the study of UNESCO in 2012 where they revealed that young people of 15-16 years report they experience stress as a mental health concern due to insecurity about grades and future. Thus, comparing the studies it was revealed that young people mostly face mental health problems such as stress, anxiety disorder, depression and others.

The study by Bell et al. (2019) reveals that participants who are young people recruited in the study mentioned that pressure and uncertainty regarding the future is leading them to face anxiety disorder which is creating complexity for them to lead their life. The participants also revealed that use of social media has been a major factor for making them face anxiety as the bullying and peer-pressure faced in the media are making them unable to escape the mental trauma in turn leading them to face mental health issues. In comparison, the study by Berryman et al. (2018) also mentioned that increased exposure of young people to social media affects their mental health leading the individuals face mental problems. However, the study by Keles et al. (2020) on determining the relation between social media use and depression among young people revealed that there is small but significant relationship between the two variables. In contrast, the study by Lenhart et al. (2015) mentioned that social media use has been effective for depressed young people to avail support by sharing their feelings and emotions. Thus, it indicates that increased social media use negatively affects the mental health of young people as well as at times is able to help them cope with health issues.

The study by Matar et al. (2018), mentioned that family issues lead young people to face mental health problems. This is because the loss of parents or separations of parents is seen to have negative impact on the family support towards the young people. Thus, young people unable to access support to share their feeling making them face depression and anxiety issues. In comparison, the study by Matthews et al. (2016) also mentioned that social isolation and loneliness leads young people to face mental health problems such as depression. This is because loneliness makes the young people unable to share their personal thoughts with others to gain support to normalise their mental distress, in turn, making them experience mental problems. The fact regarding loneliness leading young people to face depression is also supported by the study of Ebesutani et al. (2015). The study of Woods and Scott (2016) mention that lack of sleep among young people leads them to experience mental health issues. This is because sleep helps young people to calm down and manage normal emotional state as during sleeping the brain cells are repaired ensuring effective blood circulation in the brain. Thus, lack of sleep leads young people unable to maintain mood, concentration and behaviours which contribute to their hindered mental state.

The study by Gronholm et al. (2018) informed that young people suffering from mental health issues face stigma as a challenge which hinders their well-being and quality of life. This is because people with mental health problem are discriminated to be vulnerable to society as they can cause unnecessary harm towards others. The study by Evans et al. (2017) mentioned that mental problem leads young people to develop lower self-esteem and lack of value for life leading them to develop the intention of having suicidal thoughts or self-harm. Thus, the mental problems lead young people to experience the challenge of causing physical harm which at times may be fatal for them. After the review of the existing literature, it has been identified that there is gap in determining all the social and emotional factors leading young people to develop mental health issues. In addition, the lifestyle factors which contribute to create mental health problems among young people are not also mentioned in the existing literature. Thus, the study is established to resolve the gaps and develop a detailed overview and improved knowledge regarding mental health problems among young people.

Methodology

The research philosophy is mainly of two types which involves positivism and interpretivism. As mentioned by Turnaoğlu (2017), positivism philosophy considers the development of knowledge-based on natural phenomenon and analysis of scientific information for framing decision. This informs that positivism uses the support of facts and data to reach effective decisions to resolve the problems in the study. As argued by Ryan (2018), interpretivism considers human opinions and thoughts to develop knowledge to explore the study topic. This informs that the personal thinking of the researcher is used to evaluate facts to resolve research problems in the study. In this research, the positivism philosophy will be used because it leads the researcher to make logical thinking based on existing facts and information leading to avoid influence of personal perceptions that may create error in the results developed. The interpretivism will not be used as it may lead to raise error due to influence of the researcher's perception in the study.

The research approach is of two types which involve inductive and deductive approach. As asserted by Moore et al. (2019), the deductive approach includes the development of hypothesis on the basis of existing facts and theory and later design research strategy based on the facts to test the hypothesis. This indicates that the deductive approach leads the researcher to make proper reasoning by analysis existing facts to develop theories relevant to the study. As criticised by Mulfinger et al. (2019), inductive approach involves initiation of the research by making observations and later theories and hypothesis are proposed at the last based on the observations. This informs that inductive approach uses a bottom-top approach to resolve the raised problem in the study. In this research, the deductive research approach will be used because it will help to present the findings based on the existing information in turn helps to validate the findings with proper evidence. The inductive approach will not be used as the research problem is already well-explored in the study.

The research design is of three types which involve exploratory, explanatory and deductive research design. As commented by Chinekesh et al. (2018), explanatory research design is executed for studies where the research problem is not properly researched before. This indicates that the design helps in better understanding of the problem and in this design the researcher require adapting themselves to develop new insight into the problem. As asserted by John et al. (2018), exploratory design is executed for the researches where the research problem is not clearly explained. However, the descriptive design has the key motive to develop information regarding the study without manipulating the variables to develop a detailed study (Gronholm et al. 2017). In this research, the descriptive design will be used as it will help to critically analyse the research problem to gather data through observation to resolve the issues identified in the study. The explanatory and exploratory design will not be used as the research objectives and problem are already identified.

The sampling techniques include probability and non-probability sampling. As stated by Drabble et al. (2018), probability sampling is the techniques in which the researcher from a larger population selects participants who act as representatives of the population. This leads the researcher to make appropriate inferences regarding the population. As criticised by Reisner and Hughto (2019), the non-probability sampling is the process where individuals are selected on the purpose of the study and they do not have equal chances of getting selected. This indicates that in non-probability sampling the selected participants do not represent the whole population. In this research, both the probability and non-probability sampling will be used as strength of one of the technique is going to resolve the limitation of the other sampling techniques which would be faced with the use of one of the sampling techniques. According to probability sampling method, 75 young people who are within the age of 15-24 years from a total population of 100 individuals will be selected for the study. According to non-probability sampling, 4 mental health practitioners are to be selected who are to be interviewed to gather data.

In primary research, there are two types of data collection process which are qualitative and quantitative data collection process. As mentioned by Gronholm et al. (2017), quantitative data collection includes objective measurements and statistical or numerical analysis to be made for gathering information. The method will be effective in the study as it would lead the researcher to gather wide amount of data within less amount of time. As argued by Sapthiang et al. (2019), qualitative data collection is the process that evaluates the perception and feelings of the participants in the study to gather data. This qualitative data collection method will also be used in the study to gather emotions and feelings along with verbal expression and perception regarding mental health issues among young people in society. In collecting qualitative data, semi-structured questionnaires will be used in the skype interview. In collecting quantitative data, the closed survey questionnaires will be used and they are to be distributed to the participants through email.

Ethical Considerations

The Data Protection Act 1998 informs that no personal information of the individuals is to be made private without their prior approval (legislation.gov.uk, 1998). This guideline of the Act will be followed according to which no personal data of the participants is to be revealed in the study so that confidentiality is maintained. After the execution of the study, the gathered data regarding the participants will be destroyed so that it cannot be misused by others and the confidentiality of the participants remains intact. During the recruitment of the participants in the study, informed consent will be accessed. This will be done by explaining the participants in details about the purpose of the study and the way their responses are to be used to ensure ethical considerations are followed. The participants will be allowed to withdraw from the survey or interview if they feel their confidentiality is hindered or their safety is compromised.

Anticipated Findings

The gathered data will inform regarding the nature of mental health issues most prevalent among young people. The findings will also inform the factors responsible to cause mental health problems among the young people along with the challenges faced by the people due to mental illness. In addition, suggestions will be gathered regarding the way mental health problems of the young people can be controlled to offer them better quality life.

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Conclusion

The discussion mentions that mental health issue is one of the major health problem faced by young people due to changes in their social, physical and emotional environment with the development of age. The reviewed literature informs that depression and anxiety disorder are major mental health problem faced by young people and factors leading them to occur include bullying, loneliness, family issues and others. In order to resolve the existing gaps regarding the topic, this research is framed to provide better overview regarding mental health problem among the young people.

References

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