Eight percent of Dutch youth psychologically unhealthy

Stock photo teen on stone wall
Stock photo of a teen sitting against a stone wall.photo: Wokandapix / Pixabay

Between 2015 and 2017 eight percent of Dutch 12 to 25-year-olds were psychologically unhealthy, according to Statistics Netherlands' health survey. More than a third of this group suffered from depression in preceding year. Ten years ago 7 percent of Dutch young people were psychologically unhealthy.

Statistics Netherlands measures psychological health by asking young people five questions about their state of mind, on which they could give six answers ranging from 'never' to 'constantly'. Based on these answers, the stats office gave them a score between 0 (very unhealthy) and 100 (perfectly unhealthy). The stats office considers young people with a score under 60 as psychologically unhealthy.

Girls face more mental problems than boys, with a difference of 11 percent against 6 percent, according to Statistics Netherlands. Psychological illness is also more common among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years than teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18. Young people with a western immigration background are more often psychologically unhealthy than their peers with a Dutch background. "These differences in mental health according to background characteristics are comparable with ten years ago", the stats office said. 

Psychologically unhealthy young people also report more long-term physical illnesses than their psychologically healthy peers. 65 percent of psychologically unhealthy young people rate their own health as less good, while 93 percent of their psychologically healthy peers report having good health. More than a third of psychologically unhealthy young people reported suffering from depression in the preceding 12 months. They also more often reported suffering from migraine or severe headaches, allergies, dizziness or a back disorder. 

Across the board, young people feel about as healthy as the young people of 10 years ago. On the question 'How is your health generally?', 91 percent gave a positive answer. 



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