Some statistics and facts from Youth Beyond Blue.
- 1 in 7 Australian Children will develop a mental health difficulty during primary school (excludes anxiety). 14% of children in primary school experience anxiety.
- 6.3% of Australians aged 16 - 24 have experienced depression in the last 12 months (178,000 young people)
- 15.4% of Australians aged 16 - 24 have experienced anxiety in the last 12 months. (435,000 young people)
- 26.4% of Australians aged 16 to 24 currently have experienced a mental health disorder in the last 12 months. This figure includes young people with a substance use disorder. (746,000 young people today.)
- Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians. Higher than car accidents.
- In 2012 - 324 suicide deaths aged 15-24 compared to 198 who died in car accidents.
- Evidence suggests that half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders start by age 14 years.
- The top issues of concern to young people in 2013 were 1. coping with stress, 2. school or study problems, 3. body image, 4. depression and family conflict.
- In 2013, young people saw mental health as a more important issue than things such as the environment, bullying, education and employment.
- In 2013, almost one in four young people (24.3%) said they were sad, very sad or not happy when asked to report how happy they were with their life as a whole
What Can We Do?
How can we help our children overcome the stresses of modern day education to become happy and successful adults? We must educate the mind, the body and the heart, by expanding awareness. With expanded awareness we learn to sense the effect of our lifestyle on our physiology. Awareness functions like a sensor, helping us to tune into our internal and external environments.
Yoga offers us ways to enhance our awareness and focus, which improves our capacity to stay present. Being present, also called mindfulness, allows us to become more deeply connected with ourselves, offering knowledge of all aspects of our being. Research has shown that mindfulness increases attention skills, reduces test anxiety and improves emotional regulation. Mindfulness based exercises have been shown to build resilience and happiness, helping us to deal effectively with the busyness, stresses and demands that are a natural part of modern life.