Young people facing a "mental health timebomb"

Britain's young people are at risk of developing mental illnesses because of the "unprecedented toxic climate" in which they live, a new report has claimed.

Stress at school, bullying, a desire to be thin and the belief that exam failure is equal to failure as a person have combined to make it more of a stressful environment for young people than ever before, according to the charity YoungMinds.

These claims were made in line with the charity's report, which found that more than half of pupils believe they will be deemed a failure for not achieving their desired exam grades. The study, which quizzed some 2,000 young people between the ages of 11 - 25, also found that half of respondents had been bullied and two fifths of those aged 11 to 14 had skipped meals in the hope of losing weight.

As such, YoungMinds has created a new cross-party campaign, with backing from all sides of the political spectrum and a mouthpiece in the form of girl-band 'The Saturdays'. It hopes to ease the stresses currently being foisted on Britain's young people.

Called 'YoungMinds Vs', the campaign aims to fight at all opportunities to stop young people from feeling so stressed and put greater emphasis on helping treat young people with mental illnesses, reports.

Setting out the charity's claim, its campaigns director, Lucie Russell, told "Every day we hear about the unprecedented toxic climate children and young people face in a 24/7 online culture where they can never switch off.

"Young people tell us they experience a continuous onslaught of stress at school, bullying, sexual pressures and bleak employment prospects. When this becomes too much for them they don't know where to turn for help and when they do, often the support just isn't there. We are sitting on a mental health timebomb."