Health monitor: increased suicidal ideation, abuse and obesity

Young adults in Drenthe have recently thought of suicide relatively more often than their peers elsewhere in the country. There are also relatively more young people with obesity.

That’s in the Health Monitor Young Adults, a joint study by the GGD GHOR and the RIVM among young people between the ages of 16 and 25. Some 70,000 young adults nationwide completed a survey from April through August 2022.

The figures show that 8.8 percent of young adults in our province have often seriously considered ending their own lives in the year prior to completing the questionnaire. That percentage is not so high in any other GGD region. Nationally, this concerns 6.5 percent of young adults. It should be noted that the questionnaire may not be representative. The researchers say that people who experienced problems may have been more likely to complete the questionnaire. As a result, the result may have been more negative than it actually was.

Drenthe is at the bottom or at the top of the list in more areas. For example, 10.7 percent of young adults are obese (8.1 percent nationally) and relatively most young people in Drenthe (28.1 percent) exercise less than half an hour a day (25.3 percent nationally). It is also striking that almost six out of ten young people in Drenthe say they have ever been confronted with mental or physical abuse or an unwanted sexual experience. Only the respondents in the province of Groningen indicate that they have been abused more often.

The resilience of Drenthe between the ages of 16 and 25 is also more gloomy than elsewhere. 46.6 percent of respondents in our province say they recover quickly after a difficult period, compared to 52.8 percent nationally. However, almost eight out of ten participants in the survey indicate that they are satisfied with themselves. More than half have indicated that they have psychological complaints, which means that Drenthe hardly deviates from the national average.

According to figures for the whole of the Netherlands, young adult women and young people in the city most often suffer from mental complaints. 63 percent of women and 56 percent of young people in urban areas say they had mental complaints. In most cases, the complaints were minor, writes the NOS. Overall, just over half (53 percent) of young adults say they suffered from anxiety or depression, for example.