Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Monday, 20 April 2015

Why Are More Girls Than Ever Suffering From Emotional Problems?

Why Are More Girls Than Ever Suffering From Emotional Problems?

The Debrief: A new study has revealed that there's been a 7% increase in mental health issues among girls – whereas boys have stayed the same since 2009. Why?

According to a new study, there’s been a sudden (and significant) increase in emotional problems among girls at school – whereas the boys remained pretty much the same as they have in previous years. 

After analysing data from 2009, scientists found the number of girls suffering from emotional problems has risen by 7%, with some experts citing social and cultural pressures as the potential reason. ‘Young people tell us they feel enormous pressures today ranging from bullying, the 24/7 online environment and sexual pressures to issues around body image, school stress and family breakdown,’ Sarah Brennan, from YoungMinds told the BBC. ’YoungMinds is concerned that these are affecting girls in particular.’

Another expert, Dr Helen Sharpe of UCL, added, ‘In a climate of limited resources, it is also possible teachers may focus more on behavioural and conduct issues as these tend to disrupt classrooms.’ So those who are suffering, while ostensibly getting on with their work, will find that their problems are pretty much overlooked. 

On top of this, funding for mental health resources has, yet again, been cut, which means that fewer pupils will be able to seek the help they need when going through a tough time – and so are therefore more likely to struggle to overcome it. 

In the questionnaire, children were asked questions that linked to the clinically-recognised symptoms and signs of emotional problems, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists believes another survey should be done soon in order to gather estimates of the mental health problems in order to alter and improve the current – and limited – services that are available.  

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Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski

Tags: Mental health