Negative emotions and relationship problems were the most pressing issues that bothered the young people who approached the Youth Board (Onek) in 2018, a new report revealed.
A total of 1,752 calls were recorded to helpline 1410 and the E-counseling services, an increase of 40 per cent compared to the year before.
The youth organisation offers four main programmes, the 1410 help line which started operations in 1990, E-counseling, the Mikri Arktos prevention centre and guidance service Protasi.
In 2018 the number of people who used one of the four services was 3,264, the same as the year before when 3,263 persons contacted the organisation.
The most common issues young people have troubles with are coping with negative feelings such as anxiety, anger and disappointment, followed by relationship problems. Low self-esteem, communication skills, substance abuse and gambling are other problematic areas brought up by the young callers, as are physical, psychological and sexual violence.
Those who used person-to-person counseling service Protasi also most commonly sought advice on negative emotions and relationships and in addition focused on the relationship between parents and children and personal development issues.
Regarding the prevention centre, the frequency with which individuals chose to attend lectures on various subjects also reflects the need by youngsters to deal with emotions. In group meetings, one in four chose an emotional management group.
In their report, the Youth Board commented on the relationship problems.
“The next most common problem is relationship issues. It seems that more and more often young people are mainly concerned about relationships with those around them, which are judged unsatisfactory or problematic. These two issues often coexist and are likely to have a causal relationship.”
In conclusion, the report says it is encouraging that on the one hand more and more young people and families are looking for solutions to problems and are not passively left in situations that bother them and which, without addressing, could lead to more complex problems.
“It is encouraging that year after year our services gain the trust of people and they are increasingly recognised as services specialised in youth issues.”
For an appointment with Protasi, participation in groups and lectures at the Mikri Arktos centre or general information about programmes contact Onek at 97-725204 daily from 8am to 3pm. Help line 1410 and E-counseling provide advice and support from 10am to 11pm on weekdays and on weekends from 3pm to 11pm, anonymous and free of charge