A stark rise in the number of teenage girls and young women in Northern Ireland seeking help with anxiety and depression in the past year could be just the tip of the iceberg, a local charity has warned.
The new statistics were revealed by Belfast charity New Life Counselling as World Mental Health Day today puts the focus on |‘Depression: A Global Issue’. The charity, which offers free counselling across Northern Ireland, experienced a 23% rise in the number of women accessing their service from 2010 to 2011.
Of the 669 females supported by New Life last year, 201 were between the ages of 18 and 25 and 261 were aged 26 to 40. The charity’s chief executive Karen Collins said: “These figures show a significant increase in demand for counselling support from young women.
“In most cases it is for help with stress, anxiety or depression as a result of a broad range of pressures, mostly connected to relationships and family, but some
with drugs and alcohol problems and also young women struggling with looking after young children.
“One of the reasons more young women are seeking help is greater awareness of counselling services and we have been working hard to break down the stigmas associated with mental health so that people are not too embarrassed to seek help.”