Mental illnesses must be tackled early, expert says

The results of a new Canadian study into the long-term effects of mental illness show that conditions must be treated early on in a person's life, one expert has claimed.

A report compiled by the University of Alberta and released earlier this week shows that the negative feelings some people experience during the early stages of adulthood can influence behaviour and major decisions later on in life.

One of the researchers behind the report, Matthew Johnson, believes this is reason enough to ensure that people get the help they need before reaching adult age.

Mr Johnson, who is an assistant professor of human ecology at the university's Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, was quoted by as saying: "We assume or hope that high school experiences fade away and don't necessarily resonate 25 years later. The fact that symptoms of depression and expressions of anger can endure over many large events in life shows how important it is to deal with mental health early.

"Sometimes, problems don't just dissipate. How you grow and change over those early years becomes crucial to future happiness."

According to, the report was compiled using the results of 19-year study which followed the progress of 163 men and 178 women as they made the transition into adulthood.