Mental health

Mental health

Young people can experience a range of mental health problems. Teenage years are a time when you are usually changing rapidly and developing all the time. You also often have to cope with many different situations and unfamiliar challenges like exams, relationships and the other pressures of growing up.

Understanding mental health problems.

The charity MIND has produced information about common mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, explaining what they are, their possible causes and what help is available.


Short term anxiety can be useful. Feeling nervous before an exam can make you feel more alert and enhance your performance. However, if the feelings of anxiety overwhelm you, your ability to concentrate and do well may suffer.

Find out more about understanding anxiety.


We often use the expression "I'm feeling depressed" when we're feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually these feelings pass in due course. But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don't go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again, for a few days at a time, it could be a sign that you're depressed in the medical sense of the term.

Find out more about understanding depression.

You can watch, listen and read young people talking about their experiences of depression and low mood at  the Youth Health Talk website.

Eating disorders

Eating problems aren't just about food and eating. They are about difficult problems and painful feelings. There are several types including anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating.

Find out more about understanding eating problems
Get more information about beating eating disorders


Self-harm is a way of expressing very deep distress. Often people don't know why they self-harm. It's a means of communicating what can't be put into words or even into thoughts and has been described as an inner scream. There are many different forms. People may injure or poison themselves by scratching, cutting or burning their skin, or taking a drug overdose. It may also take less obvious forms including staying in an abusive relationship, developing an eating problem, being addicted to alcohol or drugs or someone simply not looking after their own emotional or physical needs.

Find out more about understanding self-harm.