Position paper: Mental Health and Youth Sport
Mental ill-health is the most common health issue among young people, with 75% of mental illness having its onset before the age of 25.
Taking into consideration that every sixth person in the world is an adolescent, addressing mental health disorders from an early age onwards is essential for public health. Adolescence is a critical, transformative time of life.
This period of biological change, psychological challenges and social pressures, combined with many additional risk factors, makes adolescents one of the most vulnerable groups to mental health issues.
The current COVID-19 global pandemic may be impacting the mental health of young people all over the world. By April 2020, over 90% of enrolled learners (1.5 billion young people) worldwide were denied their usual educational opportunities. With school closures and cancelled cultural and sport events, many adolescents are missing out on some of the biggest moments of their young lives — as well as everyday moments like chatting with friends and participating in sport and physical activity. Social distancing measures can result in social isolation in an abusive home, with abuse likely exacerbated during this time of economic uncertainty and stress.