This chapter addresses a number of key issues concerning the mental health of youth. The early onset of mental disorders ‐ with a median age of onset across all types of illnesses of around 14 years ‐ highlights the importance of prevention and early intervention
to avoid that mental health problems affect the development and education of children and adolescents, and consequently their social and professional life as adults. The chapter discusses the potential of the education system in promoting good mental health and preventing mental
ill‐health, and the challenges for support systems that surround the transition from adolescence to adulthood and into employment. Lack of awareness and non‐disclosure are key challenges for better intervention and improved rates of treatment at an early age.
Another challenge in many countries is the large and rising flow of young adults onto the disability system, without or with only limited work experience. This underlines the importance of policy intervention that is multidisciplinary and wellco‐ ordinated across the education,
health and labour market sectors.