1 in every 5 youths are at risk of depression – Aġenzija Żgħażagħ

Woman Sitting in Front of Macbook anxiety
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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

More than one in every five youths in Malta aged between 18 and 24 are at risk of depression, ranking Malta at the third-highest rate in Europe, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ said on Tuesday when it launched a campaign aimed at encouraging youths to speak up, reach out and obtain reliable information whilst making use of services to improve their mental health.

On Tuesday, the agency launched the campaign dubbed Trust yourself to talk. Anxiety is this you?. The initiative will be featured on social media platforms, traditional media and the street and will address the repercussions of anxiety, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ explained in a statement.

The agency noted that this year, World Mental Health Day which was marked on 10 October, happened in the context of a global public health pandemic. The past months were characterised by various mitigation measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus which resulted in restricting leisure opportunities, education continuing on online platforms or subject to new norms including little contact with teachers and friends, as well as causing anxiety about the future.

Aġenzija Żgħażagħ also highlighted that 75% of the 150,000 people who face mental health problems at some point in their lives in Malta have experienced their first symptoms before the age of 25.

The World Health Organization has estimated that over half of all cases of mental health disorders would have begun before age 14, however, the majority of these remain untreated well into adulthood.

It is against this background as well as with such evidence in hand, that the agency launched its new campaign in which it is encouraging youths to talk about their mental health problems. At the same time, Aġenzija Żgħażagħ is aiming to generate a conversation around mental health to end stigma and discrimination.

The campaign was developed with the support of the Secretariat for Youth, the Commissioner of Mental Health as well as the youths involved in a focus group.

For more information you can visit the website.