Best Practice

Mental health: Looking out for the boys

The statistics show that boys and young men are more likely to be affected by poor mental health. Continuing her series for SecEd on supporting our most vulnerable young people, Clare Stafford seeks some expert advice

Some young people are significantly more susceptible than others to mental health problems. They include those living in poverty, young carers, refugees, and those with chronic physical health conditions. Young people are also at increased risk simply by dint of being male. This is not to suggest, of course, that girls are not also vulnerable, but the overall prevalence of mental health problems is higher in boys (Green et al, 2005).

Research suggests that many of the vulnerabilities men feel in midlife, when the risk of suicide is at its highest, are established in childhood and adolescence, and that the needs of boys and young men need attention to prevent difficulties in later years (Wyllie et al, 2012).

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