Tuesday, 18 March 2008 3:15 PM

Youth and Mental Health Issues on the Rise

A report highlighting major mental health related issues, affecting the youth of Solomon Islands, was launched recently by the Under Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical services, Mr. George Malefoasi.

The report entitled 'Youth and mental health in the Solomon Islands: A situation analysis,' written by Dr Christine Jourdan, worked with a team of community based Solomon Island youth researchers, highlighted major mental health related issues affecting the youth of Solomon Islands.

The report findings indicate that youth in the Solomon Islands and Honiara, face negative impacts of substance abuse, inadequate education, lack of employment opportunities, depression, violence, sexual abuse, gender disparity and suicide.
Unemployment amongst youths between the ages of 15-24 year olds has reached an alarming rate of 75%, an increase of 15%.

Also, between January and August 2007, there were 41 suicides of which 35 were females and 6 were males. Many of these occurred within the younger population.
The report according to Dr. Malefoasi is invaluable.
"It provides the actual situation of the country in relation to youth and mental health."

"The data and information sets out the baseline parameters and should help all stakeholders plan and allocate appropriate resources in supporting the recommendations entailed in the report," he said.