New global report shows mental well-being of youth plummeting

mental health-depression-anxiety
Posted at 2:12 PM, Apr 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-04 18:28:56-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Mid-March was the second anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic and it has not only affected many people's physical health but also the minds of people all over the world, especially the youth.

The Second Annual Mental State of the World Report showed young people are suffering even more now than in 2020.

''The decline in mental well-being is much higher for younger age groups than it is for older age groups,'' explains Dr. Tara Thiagarajan, a scientist and founder of Sapien Labs, a non-profit organization.

Sapien collected the research for the Second Annual Mental State of the World Report. That new data revealed an alarming decline in the mental well-being of our youth, ages 18 to 24 years old globally.

In 2020 44% did not feel mentally well. And now?

"It's now almost 50%, which means that half of young people under you know, 18 to 24, are distressed or struggling," she added.

In part, the study finds seven to ten hours online per day could be to blame. Those hours on the internet replaced the time we used to communicate in person which Thiagarajan said can help build self-confidence.

"And I think when you do this sort of unstructured interaction, you're learning how to resolve conflict. You're learning how to handle various kinds of social situations. You're learning how to control emotions, when you know, people say stuff, and different things happen," she explained.

The report found cyberbullying impacted females 18 to 24 years old the most and close to 50% of young people experience obsessive thoughts.

"These obsessions have to do with again, relational. You know, relationships with others, to the point of obsessing about somebody or some relationship to the extent that they're unable to function in their daily life," Thiagarajan explained.

Overall, the data uncovered plummeting mental health scores in our youth and sharp declines in what she called the 'social-self' around the globe.

"So the social self is really like how we see ourselves in our own self-image and confidence. And then how we're able to form and maintain relationships with other people. And that's a dimension of mental well-being that's really crumbled with young people," she said.

The study also found English speaking countries are at the bottom for mental well-being and are worse off even compared to the Arab world. Plus, the elderly used to score at the bottom of mental well-being, but now, across the world, it's young people.

The full report is below.

Mental State of the World 2021 by ABC Action News on Scribd