A major new study on youth mental health has revealed that drinking alcohol is taking a heavy toll on young people's mental health.

It also found that suicide thoughts, self-harm and suicide attempts are higher for those who do not talk about their problems.

The May World Study, commissioned by the organisation Headstrong, involved over 14,300 people aged 12 to 25 years in secondary schools, colleges, training centres and work locations around the country.

The researchers found that the presence of "one good adult" is central to the mental health of young people in terms of their coping skills and optimism.

It shows that 45% of those surveyed have drinking habits that can be considered as problematic.

In general, young people increase their alcohol consumption from age 13-14.

Over one-third of young people do not talk or seek informal help when they have problems.

The two-year study was conducted in collaboration with the UCD School of Psychology.