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Increase in young people with anxiety

There has been a sharp increase in the numbers of young people needing help for anxiety, two leading charities have warned. 

This comes just a week after the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence released a new quality standard aimed at improving care for people with anxiety disorders. 

Anxiety UK, which supports people living with anxiety, and YouthNet, the national online charity for 16 to 25 year olds, have both seen increased demand for their online services supporting young people during January 2014, as compared to the same time last year.

During January 2014, Anxiety UK experienced a 40% increase in visitors to their website information pages  for young people with anxiety disorders and 106% increase in those accessing resources for parents and carers of young people with anxiety.

YouthNet, an online guide to life for young people, also saw a 13% increase in visits to their information and support for young people with mental health concerns since january 2013.

The charities have warned that this increased trend highlights the need for accessible and trusted information and support for young people coping with anxiety.

Emma Thomas from YouthNet said: “Realising you have a mental health issue can be really stressful in itself. While we welcome a new quality standard, it's important to recognise that young people are often unsure about how to talk to professionals and need support to help distinguish their feelings and cope. 

"Young people are increasingly looking online for this first, so trusted information in a style and tone they relate to, as well as a safe place to share openly, is vital.”

Nicky Lidbetter, Anxiety UK's CEO said: “We typically see an increase in enquiries and website visits during this time of year however the rise in the number of visits to our web pages dedicated to young people during the first part of 2014 appears to be a new trend and one that we will need to monitor. 

"Ensuring that young people have access to accurate information and ongoing support is critical as we know that early intervention often prevents the development of more entrenched and difficult to treat, anxiety disorders in adulthood.