A study carried out by Wicklow’s Comhairle na nÓg over two years has brought to the surface some of the main concerns of young people in Co. Wicklow.
Wicklow’s Comhairle na nÓg have held youth summits in 2021 and 2022 in order to gauge some of the most pressing issues facing young people in our county, and while Covid was the hot-button topic for 2021, it was found in 2022 that young people are highly concerned with their mental health, the widespread use of electronic ‘vapes’, and drug-use amongst their peers, to name a few.
Comhairle na nÓg presented their findings to Wicklow County Council last week at their September meeting.
The report comes alongside widespread calls for both increased mental health services in Ireland as well as the outright banning of disposable vapes.
The group also asked 550 students their opinions on the legalisation of cannabis, which Comhairle na nÓg member Katie described as “our most divided question with 25 per cent of people not knowing what to think. So I think it highlights the importance of the need for some education for young people on drugs in our county.”
Another member, Oscar, revealed plans to start a podcast and website in order to further discuss these issues, especially those around mental health.
“These are to address people our own age about mental health issues, because mental health is a really big problem, especially for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students. Schools will tell you don’t worry, you’ll be fine, it is just another exam. It is not.
“The Junior Cert and the Leaving Cert are stressful exams. I know for anyone who did theirs, it is very stressful. We don’t want to do it but we have to.”
This year’s youth summit will take place in Newtown at the Parkview Hotel on 10th of November.
For more information about Comhairle na nÓg and their planned events, please visit their official Facebook page.