Distressed teens seek online support

  • Deborah Condon

Three in four young people who accessed an online support service said that they were moderately or severely distressed, a new report has shown.

Inspire Ireland was established in 2009, with the aim of improving the mental health of young people in Ireland through the use of technology. This new report is based on an analysis of those using its flagship programme, ReachOut.com, a website which provides information and support on a range of topics including depression, anxiety and bullying.

According to the findings, the majority of people visiting ReachOut said that they were looking for help as they were going through a tough time.

Some 75% of respondents were experiencing moderate or severe psychological distress, which is much higher than the general population, the report noted.

Mondays and Tuesdays were the busiest days for the site, while Saturdays tended to be quieter.

Most visitors to ReachOut found their way there via a search in Google. The second most common way was via Facebook referrals.

Once people were on the site, the most popular content was the ‘real stories'.

The report noted that people seem to be more reliant on online support nowadays, with 81% of users stating that they would be unlikely to call a helpline if they were going through a tough time, but 68% saying they would go online.


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