Updated: Oct 25
In a world marked by unprecedented challenges, the importance of resilience among young people cannot be overstated. Dr Phillip Jeffries, a dedicated researcher in the field of resilience, has been diligently exploring this crucial aspect of youth development and formed part of our panel on our recent webinar, ‘Strong Females for a Stronger Future’. Resilience, often hailed as the antidote to the myriad challenges young individuals face, has become a focal point in the quest for solutions. In this article, we delve into what was discussed during our webinar.
The current landscape for young people, particularly regarding mental health, presents a concerning picture. Statistics compiled by the NHS reveal a troubling trend. An increasing number of young individuals are grappling with issues such as anxiety, depression, and general wellbeing. Life satisfaction ratings among this demographic are far from optimal.
One alarming revelation from NHS data is that more young people aged 6 to 16, report a decline in their mental health rather than an improvement. This trend is especially pronounced in older individuals, painting a worrisome outlook for the future.
Breaking down the data further, a study conducted at University College London highlights a gender divide. Young women, as they progress into years eight and nine, report more mental health concerns compared to their male counterparts. This period, often described as a pivotal time in their lives, is marked by intricate social dynamics and challenges.
For young women, the challenges they face can be insidious, with friendships and relationships forming, twisting, or breaking. Year nine, in particular, is often cited as a challenging time, filled with rumours and backstabbing.
The reasons behind these challenges are multifaceted. Several factors contribute to the difficulties young people encounter today. These include the rise of bullying and cyberbullying, which presents a unique challenge due to its inescapable nature.
Young individuals grapple not only with interpersonal relationships but also with the demands of school as academic pressure intensifies. Additionally, societal influences, such as social media and pandemic-related stressors, compound these issues—the onslaught of unrealistic body image ideals and dangerous trends further burdens young minds.
Resilience is commonly understood as the ability to bounce back from hardships. This image of resilience is akin to a stress ball, which, when squeezed, bounces back into shape. However, resilience encompasses more than just bouncing back; it also involves adapting to challenges and adversity.
In light of these challenges, resilience has emerged as a beacon of hope. It is hailed as the solution to help young people bounce back from adversity. Resilience interventions are increasingly sought after by schools, aiming to equip students with the tools needed to overcome life's obstacles.
One crucial message that Dr. Phillip Jeffries emphasised is that resilience is not an innate quality; it can be nurtured in individuals. Regardless of their innate disposition, young people can develop resilience through protective factors. These factors help them navigate challenges and emerge stronger and more adaptable.
If you need an extra hand to improve your students' resilience simply by using their smartphone, tablet or laptop, we are here to help! Contact our team to discover the world of eQuoo, an interactive mental health game curated by psychologists designed to build their resilience and reduce anxiety and depression, all within the comfort of their digital devices.