The pandemic has doubled the number of adolescents with suicidal ideas

  • The FAD Barometer shows that the pandemic has worsened the physical and mental health of young Spaniards

The pandemic It has caused a worsening of the health of young people in all aspects. The perception of those who consider themselves to be in good health has fallen 30 points (from 86% to 54% between 2017 and 2021); has increased to eight out of ten those who have experienced symptoms of emotional distress and has grown the number of young people who have suicidal thoughts. 44.3% have ever thought about taking their own life, four points more than in 2019.

The two-month confinement, the concern for one’s own health and that of family members, the separation from the group of friends or the deaths of loved ones due to covid has caused a severe blow, especially in the teenagers. In fact, the group formed between those between 15 and 19 years old have gone from being the ones with the least suicidal ideas among young people, in 2019, to being the segment that experiences them the most and with more frenquency. For this reason, they have duplicate the number of adolescents who think about suicide with high frequency, going from 5.5% in 2019 to 12.3% in 2021. This is one of the main conclusions of the ‘Youth Barometer. Health and Wellbeing’, which the FAD Youth Foundation, the former Drug Addiction Aid Foundation, and the Mutua Madrileña Foundation presented this Thursday.

The survey was carried out based on the responses offered by 1,500 young people between 15 and 29 years oldin an online interview conducted in June and July 2021. And, as it is the third barometer, the results allow us to compare the evolution of health in this segment of the Spanish population in 2017, 2019 and 2021, already after the pandemic , which has wreaked havoc.

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Thus, the survey reveals that more than half of young people (56%) state that they have suffered psychological, psychiatric or mental health problems in the last 12 months. Of these, also almost half (49%) have not requested Professional Help, alluding to economic problems or for underestimating or downplaying the problem, thinking that they can solve it on their own. In addition, women and adolescents mention among the causes the shamesince having mental health problems is something that is still hidden and is still associated with a stigma.

In this context, eight out of 10 declare having experienced emotional discomfort, especially related to a feeling of sadness, little interest in doing things and concentration problems. “The number of young people who perceive that they have mental health problems with high frequency has tripled, going from 6.2% in 2017 to 15.9% in 2021, and those who experience them with low frequency have doubled, from 22 .2% to 40.5%”, highlighted Lorenzo Cooklin, general director of the Fundación Mutua Madrileña at the presentation of the study.

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