Interviewee Z, aged 16
What is it like to be a teen in 2024?
" It has ups and downs, normal ups and downs of being a teen and transitioning to adult thinking and struggling to understand certain feelings caused by hormonal changes and feeling that you are not understood. The pressures on Gen Z is also impacted by social media exposure, especially TikTok as I feel that it is designed for short attention span and it creates "wants" that teens cannot afford and this can cause low moods of inadequacies."
How important is Mental Health to teens?
"I feel that it is something that is more spoken about and sometimes the exposure to the topic can be too much and overwhelming."
How do you and your peers talk about Mental Health?
"We talk about tough times and we try and support each other. To some degree you share the advices you have been given."
Would you recognise low moods in your peers or yourself?
"Yes, if they or I feel more tired, feeling unmotivated, any changes in the way they look or dietary habits or even the things they talk about can show signs of low moods. We would talk openly and encourage them to engage in the pastoral service at school or talk to an appropriate adult."
What about suicide or self-harming?
"The media and recent TV programmes have raised more awareness of the topic but I feel it is something that we are all aware of but still feel a bit uncomfortable to speak of."
Young Minds UK