Health SDG3. Spanish youth have a better perception of...

SDG3. Spanish youth have a better perception of their physical health than of their mental health

Spanish youth take care of their physical health, but half have a poor perception of their own mental health. This concludes from the results of the II Youth Barometer of Health and Well-being, carried out by Fad, through the Reina Sofía Center on Adolescence and Youth, and the Fundación Mutua Madrileña, and that the work carried out by the first Barometer published by both entities in 2017 continues. The study was released today, coinciding with the launch of # You are unique, a digital initiative that seeks to strengthen the self-esteem of young people and encourages them to share their concerns.

# You are unique It arises as a result of the conclusions of the II Youth Barometer of Health and Welfare, which the Mutua Madrileña and Fad Foundation carry out biennially in a sample of 1,200 Spanish young people between 15 and 29 years. The initiative will use social networks as the central axis of its communication strategy with the aim that young people use these channels to value what makes them unique, both physically and psychologically, and to feel proud of it.
Through different dynamics, such as challenges and surveys, supported by the conclusions of the Barometer, # EresÚnica / o reinforces the idea that each young person is special in their individuality, although they also share concerns with young people of their generation, at the same time that they It invites you to break your silence and understand that your concerns are common to many others, thus preventing you from feeling lonely or misunderstood. In addition, it provides a telephone (900 16 15 15) and an email in case they need help.

Mental health perception worsens

And it is in mental health where the perception of young people is worse, according to the new Barometer. Almost half of Spanish youth (48.9%) consider that they have had any problem of this nature in the past year. A statement that worsens the perception of 2017 by more than 20 points (when only 28.4% believed they had or had a psychological problem).

This worse perception of mental health is related to an increase in the search for professional help. Even if 4 out of 10 young people who report having a mental health problem have not requested help of any kind (39.2%), in 2017 there were 5 out of 10 (50.6%) who did not. Depression (39%), anxiety (37.1%) and sleep disorders (14.5%) They are the main declared disorders among people who mention having a problem. Six out of ten also admit that they self-medicate.

Regarding physical health, about eight out of ten young people believe that their physical condition is acceptable, good or very good, and most of them carry out some type of physical activity (21.1% several times a week; 16.6% several times a month and 37.3% occasionally). In addition, they say they take care of their diet, since 42.4% consider that they have a very or fairly healthy diet.

In relation to lifestyle, the percentage of young people who say they lead a very healthy lifestyle is almost doubled and more than 64% say they lead a very or fairly healthy lifestyle.

When asked about their general health status, 77.5% of Spanish youths claim to be in good health. A high percentage, but almost 10 points below that registered in the 2017 barometer.

“Adolescence is the moment in which we all think we are unique. We think that our affections, fears or doubts have not been felt by anyone before and this means that young people can close in on themselves. With “You’re Unique” we aim to encourage them to share their emotions and concerns, “explains Fad’s general director, Beatriz Martín Padura.

“We have analyzed the reality of the Spanish youth and, with the initiative” You are Unique / a “, we try, in a playful way, to avoid that they become obsessed, that they give too much importance to some things or that they feel alone and misunderstood”, he points out Lorenzo Cooklin, CEO of the Mutua Madrileña Foundation.

In addition to the data on the perception of the mental health of Spanish young people, the # EresÚnica / o initiative is based on other conclusions of the Barometer, such as that 5 out of 10 young people are concerned about their future employment or studies or that 1 out of 4 are quite concerned about what others think of them because of their physical appearance, and that 6 out of 10 self-medicate. The survey includes, among others, the feelings of young people regarding aspects such as physical and mental health, well-being, life satisfaction and stress and their perceptions and attitudes towards risk and vital decisions.

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