Official surveys show that a surprising percentage of female students in this ward suffer from anxiety and resort to self-harm.
Concerns about weight and appearance are particularly insidious, and many young people feel pressured to have sex.
Nearly one in three secondary school girls in Richmond (32% overall) have self-harmed, according to a new official survey, and 16% of 15-year-old girls “frequently” or “every day.” ” Experiencing suicidal thoughts.
This statistic comes from the Richmond Youth Survey. The study is an in-depth survey of approximately 4,883 young people attending her seven secondary schools and 18 primary schools in the ward.
These may point to the broader mental health crisis facing young people in the UK, which seems to be exacerbated by the pandemic.
The survey found that about 67% of 15-year-old girls feel anxious “frequently” or “daily” compared to 26% of boys.
Under the same heading, the percentage of girls who were ‘very’ or ‘very’ worried about their mental health rose from 20% at age 10 to 37% at age 13 and 54% at age 15.
When assessing how young people in the district are coping with challenges, they found that 44% of girls are ‘less resilient’ compared to 22% of boys.
Worryingly, an official survey found that 32% of middle school girls “at least sometimes” deal with problems by hurting themselves in some way. That’s compared to her 14% of boys.
When asked about their top 3 concerns, about 22% of 10-year-old girls cited “looks,” increasing to 46% of 13-year-olds and 60% of 15-year-olds.
Fifty-four percent of girls aged 12-15 said they care about their appearance, compared to just 18% of boys.
In general, the percentage of boys who felt any kind of worry or anxiety was low, and their appearance was uncharacteristic of the top three.
The primary concern for boys in secondary school was ‘my future’ at 45%, followed by schoolwork at 39% and employment at 31%.
Looking at self-esteem, about 62% of 15-year-old girls say they want to lose weight, which is nearly three times the figure of 22% of boys.
These figures are based on reports that the borough has high levels of eating disorders among girls and referrals to mental health support.
The issue is highlighted by Twickenham MP Munira Wilson, who is campaigning in parliament to have mental health professionals in every school.
Looking at relationships, the survey found that more than half (52%) of 15-year-old girls said they felt pressured by young people to have sex, compared to a much lower 33% of boys. .
One in five people in this age group (both boys and girls) have experienced negative behavior in a relationship with a past or current boyfriend or girlfriend.
About 9% of girls say their boyfriend has used hurtful or threatening language, compared to 5% of boys. Again, 9% of girls said they were asked by their boyfriends to send them photos or videos of a sexual nature, compared to 4% of boys.
6% of girls said they were forced to have sex, compared to 2% of boys.
The Richmond Young People’s Survey was produced by the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU) in collaboration with the District Council public health team.
The aim of the survey was to obtain student views on aspects of health and well-being, including: safety; emotional well-being and leisure;
The council said:
“The findings of the study will help Public Health, local schools and partners plan and commission services in response to the impact of the pandemic.”