TrendYOULEAD are a consortium of leading youth mental health researchers, clinicians, and stakeholders from Ireland and around the world funded by the Irish Health Research Board. The core partners of YOULEAD are: Prof. Gary Donohoe, Dr. Caroline Heary and Dr. Padraig MacNeela (NUI Galway), Prof. Barbara Dooley & Prof. Eilis Hennesey (UCD), Prof. David Cotter & Prof. Mary Cannon (RCSI). 

The Government's framework for improved health and wellbeing 2013-2025 (‘Healthy Ireland’) defines mental health in terms of successfully realising one’s abilities, coping with stress, working productively and making a contribution to society. It describes the absence of mental health as not just a health issue but also a social and an economic issue that will affect 1 in 4 individuals during their life time (WHO 2001/2003).

Youth (12-25 years) mental health disorders in particular are a major cause of disability nationally and internationally (WHO, 2008). Emerging epidemiological evidence indicates that mental ill-health contributes 45% of the burden of disability in those aged between 10 and 25 years. Furthermore, because the onset of mental illness peaks in late adolescence/early adulthood and subsequently impacts the most productive years of life, it has recently been calculated to pose the greatest threat to the GDP of both the developed and developing nations over the next 20 years.

YouLead GraphAccumulating evidence suggests that a significant percentage of young people experiencing difficulties with mental health do not seek or receive treatment, despite the facts that (1) previous experience of mental health strongly predicts later mental health problems and (2) receiving support from a health professional significantly reduces later need for treatment. Indeed, young people have the poorest access to mental health care of all age groups across the lifespan (McGorry et al., 2013).