"It's OK to talk and it's OK to reach out", young people on the Isle of Wight are being reminded, after "shocking" figures revealed a third have thought about ending their own lives.

"Worrying" statistics from the Isle of Wight Youth Trust's latest mental health census also show one in ten of those surveyed have made an attempt to take their own lives.

The charity quizzed 1,223 children and young people, aged between 11 and 25.

Although responses show some young people are feeling better, results have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

CEO of the trust, Jo Dare, admits there is a "heck of a mountain to climb", but says she is confident the lives of young people can be improved "on a step by step, case by case, basis".

Of those who took part, 30 per cent admitted to deliberately harming themselves without intending to end their own life.

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And the number of people feeling angry at themselves, the world or things around them stands at 71 per cent — a three per cent rise when compared to 2021.

Meghann Ayers, clinical lead at the charity, said: "Post pandemic I think children are really struggling. They're just feeling quite confused and unable to make sense of the world."

Meanwhile, 53 per cent of those quizzed said they have been bullied. If part of the LGBTQAI+ community, that figure rose to 72 per cent.

"Being different isn't easy", Jo said.

"People are telling us the bullying is more face to face than online. I think where online gets difficult is you can't escape from it.

"If you've been bullied at school you go home and look at your phone and it continues".

Isle of Wight County Press: From left: Meghann Ayres, clinical lead, Kathy Whitewood, head of counselling and wellbeing, and Jo Dare, CEO.From left: Meghann Ayres, clinical lead, Kathy Whitewood, head of counselling and wellbeing, and Jo Dare, CEO. (Image: Isle of Wight County Press)

There are some reasons for optimism, however, with 76 per cent of respondents saying they do feel positive about their future.

Meghann said: "It's OK to talk. It's OK to reach out.

"We are moving in the right direction but unfortunately stigma around mental health is still there. It's a tough world for young people. They need support."

The charity offers referrals for support for children and young people aged from five up to 25. 

Depending on the type of help needed, this could include one-to-one counselling or small group sessions.