Mental health again tops concerns in youth survey
THE Mission Australia Youth Survey Report 2019 revealed that young Victorians aged between 15 to 19 reported issues and concerns relating to mental health, the environment, bullying and having a voice.
For the third year running, mental health is the top national issue. In Victoria in 2019, nearly four in 10 (37.6 per cent) young people indicated that mental health is an important issue in Australia today. The proportion of young Victorians identifying mental health as an issue of national importance rose substantially from 18.4 per cent in 2016 to 37.6 per cent this year.
The top four personal concerns for young people also relate closely to mental health: coping with stress (50.4 per cent), mental health (38.6 per cent), school or study problems (37.4 per cent), and body image (35.5 per cent).
The environment soared from ninth place in 2018 (9.1 per cent) to second place in 2019 (37.3 per cent) of the topics that young Victorians say are the most important issues in Australia – quadrupling in significance since last year.
Young people were also asked whether they felt they have enough of a say about important issues, with around one in 16 (7.0 per cent) young Victorians feeling they have a voice all of the time
in public affairs. A higher proportion of females than males felt they have a say none of the time in public affairs (55.4 per cent compared with 49.3 per cent).
“These results show us that young people in Victoria and right across Australia are deeply concerned about a range of important issues,” Mission Australia Victoria state leader Michele Leonard said.
“Feeling overlooked is perhaps inspiring young Victorians to look for other ways to be heard, such as climate strikes.
“It’s important that all young people have opportunities and forums available to them so they can share their voice and shape public affairs and policy. Young people’s concerns must be heeded when forming policies that affect their lives and their futures.”
The 18th annual Mission Australia Youth Survey was completed by more than 25,000 young people aged between 15 and 19 years, including 4,445 young people in Victoria.