One in Five Young People 'Happy if Christmas Cancelled'
Wednesday, 21st December 2011 at 4:14 pm
One in 5 young Australians would be happy if Christmas wasn’t celebrated, according to a survey of more than 500 young people aged 12 to 25 by mental health Not For Profit, headspace.
The survey found that the time around teh Christmas and New Year period made many young people depressed, anxious and lonely.
Respondents said it was a time of increasing family tensions.
The headspace survey found:
- Only half of young people would be disappointed if Christmas got cancelled, while one in five would actually be relieved;
- One third said Chrismas made them feel worse than usual, while one third said it made them feel better, and one third said it made them feel about the same;
- People aged 18 to 25 were more likely to have a negative view of Christmas, with 40 per cent saying it decreased their happiness. Around 20 per cent of under 18s had the same view;
- 58 per cent of young people cited 'Tensions Between Family Members' as a key reason for feeling negative about Christmas, while 52 per cent cited financial pressures;
- Almost one in three young people said Christmas made them feel either worried, irritated or lonely
- 27 per cent said Christmas made them feel depressed; and,
- More than a quarter of the young adults surveyed said alcohol or drug consumption affected their wellbeing more than usual over the holiday period. Sixteen per cent of teenagers were also in this category.
headspace CEO Chris Tanti said, "The headspace survey shows many young people believe tensions among family members increase around the holiday season."
"Christmas is a time for giving and receiving presents but parents should also take the opportunity to exchange the gift of meaningful conversation with their child and see how they are coping.
"If a young person is struggling, parents can urge them to open up to someone they trust, and that doesn't always have to be you. And expert help is always available through headspace's online and telephone mental health support service."