Provisional findings of a survey of 2,700 young people in Brighton and Hove suggest that up to 20 per cent of them have serious behavioural and emotional problems. However, it found counselling made a real difference to their well-being.
The survey carried out by University of Sussex researchers, was based on a questionnaire using popular psychological measures of mental health. It found that a fifth scored as high as a smaller group that had come forward for counselling. Nearly a quarter of this group said drug or drink use was causing them problems, while 26 per cent had had suicidal houghts and 16 per cent had attempted suicide, or intended to.
Jeremy Christey, counselling co-ordinator for the Hove-based Youth Advice Centre, said the problems of some of this group were equivalent to clinically disturbed adults. However, those young people who had been counselled had shown real improvements.
The initial findings also suggest that more boys were asking for counselling where there was a male counsellor in their school. The typical counsellor is a 49-year-old, white, female.
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The Well-being Project, Friday magazine, 29