Under pressure – being a teenager today…

I’ve had a few things on my mind recently. I guess most of us are the same. There are usually a few things exercising our thinking on any given day…

Photo courtesy ©123RF/Nagy-Bagoly Ilona

Photo courtesy ©123RF/Nagy-Bagoly Ilona

Young people, it seems, are no different. Why would they be?

What’s troubling the youth of today?…

Recent research by mental health charity YoungMinds, engaged 5,600 young people through focus groups, surveys and online consultations. They identified 5 major themes affecting young people today:


Don’t believe the hype – tackling sexual pressures – 75 per cent said they want sex education in schools that gives them the chance to talk about sex and relationships. Over half of 11-14 year olds have viewed online pornography,
with 4 out of 10 believing it has affected their relationships.

YoungMindsVs2. BULLYING

Stop the rot – tackling bullying – Half of the children and young people we consulted with have been bullied. 85 per cent of young people affected by bullying said they want support for as long as they need it so the bullying stops affecting their lives.

Click here to subscribe to JonnyMatthew.com – for FREE!


Re-write the rules – tackling school stress – Over half of the children and young people we asked believe they will be a failure if they don’t get good grades. 82 per cent said schools should prepare pupils for life, not just exams, by teaching them how to cope when life is tough.


Make your feelings loud – tackling the lack of support and help – 1 in 3 young people do not know where to get help when they feel depressed or anxious. 83 per cent of young people want everyone who works in schools to know how to spot the signs a young person is struggling and how best to help them.


Fight for your future – tackling unemployment – 72 per cent want unemployed young people to get help to deal with the stress and upset caused by being out of work.

5,600 young people can’t be wrong…

The full research report illustrates each of these issues from young peoples’ own perspectives. It gives a sense of the overall view taken by the young people and then gives a specific example of the issue – as it really happened to someone.

The accounts are simple, sobering and very powerful. The pressures are the same as those faced by generations of teenagers since time immemorial. But technology and the age and cultural dissonance between young people and adults, make these challenges unique to this generation.

Young MindsIt is our duty as adults, never mind as those working with young people, to understand the issues and do whatever we can to change things.

If young people are to really thrive, these pressures need to be eased. Now.

“Connecting With Troubled Young People” – Jonny’s new e-book – get it FREE here…


  • What pressure have you seen young facing? How did you help?

Please let me know – join the conversation by leaving a comment below or by clicking here.

Related previous posts…

Pass it on…

You can subscribe to this website by simply entering your name and email in the spaces at the top right hand side of this page or by clicking here.

You can also “Like” on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter

© Jonny Matthew 2014


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • So much I could say about this, Jonny. Over the last few years I have come face to face with mental illness in my family and it has totally changed my perspective on it. I think it’s really, really important that schools get on board. We are fortunate here with a great GP, a fast CAMHs service and a listening ear at school but I fear that there are many other children and teens who are not getting the same level of help. Have you read ‘Emotional Intelligence’? The author was campaigning for this kind of help in schools decades ago and I don’t think we’re there yet.

    • jonnymatthew

      Hi Karrie – the Dan Goleman stuff on EI is dead on! It’s only when you dig a little deeper into the need for sensitivity to people’s emotional functioning that you start to realise the size of the challenge. And, more importantly, the kids of solutions we need to be developing. Sadly, schools are hamstrung by the kinds of performance criteria set by government – almost exclusively quantitative achievement of grades, SAT levels and other nonsense! Welfare barely registers on the radar, it seems. Those children who do need input often don’t get it because threshold levels for triggering ed psych and other tailor inputs have risen inexorably, just as budgets have fallen. Hey ho – we press on! Thanks for commenting! Cheers, J.

  • Pingback: Apps to help you help teenagers – No.5: KnowDrugs… | JonnyMatthew.com()

  • Pingback: Teens who give back… | JonnyMatthew.com()

  • Pingback: Dealing with insults – 6 steps to help… | JonnyMatthew.com()