herald

Friday 30 September 2016

Mental health is top worry for Irish youth

Former Rose Maria Walsh
Former Rose Maria Walsh

Mental health and job prospects are the most pressing issues facing young people in Ireland, according to a new survey.

The research carried out by Zeminar - Ireland's largest youth summit - sought to uncover the most pressing problems for people aged 16-19, or "Generation Z".

The survey found that 63pc of 120 teens chose mental health as the most important issue, with 42pc selecting jobs prospects, and 20pc citing equality as an important issue.

Career

Family and friends are also considered the biggest influencers on major decisions by young people at a time when they are choosing college or career paths, the research showed.

Zeminar will take place in the RDS from October 11-13. It is expected that around 30,000 young people from around the country will attend.

Some big names will address the summit on a variety of subjects and a number of heavyweights have already thrown their support behind the conference.

Rugby star Jamie Heaslip and the former Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh were on hand to unveil details of the summit.

Singer and mental health campaigner Bressie and newly-appointed Senator Lynn Ruane are among those who will speak.

The summit will host events addressing topics such as sexuality, entrepreneurship and bullying.

Zeminar founder and CEO Damien Clarke said: "From my experience working with Foroige and other youth-focused organisations, I can see that Generation Z is growing up in a uniquely challenging and complex environment.

"It's unlike anything experienced by previous generations.

"To date, the majority of youth-centric events have focused on one or two aspects of teenage life.

"Zeminar will address all of the issues facing young people in this new, technological age."

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