The Mental Health of Young People in Ireland: A report of the Psychiatric Epidemology Research across the Lifespan (PERL) Group

There is increasing concern about the mental health of young people in Ireland. Reports of psychological distress, substance abuse and suicide among Irish youths have become common. While we know that many young people in Ireland are experiencing mental distress, little research has been done to determine the actual number of young people who are experiencing a diagnosable mental disorder. This report goes some way towards addressing this issue by presenting findings from two research studies that have used clinical interview assessments to establish the rate of diagnosable mental disorders among Irish adolescents and young adults. These studies, funded by the Health Research Board, are part of a broader programme of research by the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research across the Lifespan (PERL) Group in the Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). The findings in this report have relevance for young people, parents, teachers, health professionals, allied health professionals and any other individuals or groups who are concerned about the mental health of young people. They provide essential information to inform healthcare policy and to guide the development of high quality, accessible and responsive mental health services for any young person who needs them. They also highlight the need to ensure that we, as a society, are committed to the protection and promotion of young people’s mental health.