Mental Health Resources for TeensLindsay Chambers
As adults, we wish we could shield children and adolescents from mental health challenges like depression and anxiety, but these disorders are on the rise among the younger generation – and it’s no wonder. Often, children are more observant and sensitive than adults, and today’s young people are growing up amid unprecedented turmoil. Climate change, racism, mass shootings, political divisiveness and the COVID-19 pandemic are ongoing crises our nation’s leaders have failed to adequately address, making the past few years incredibly stressful for children.
Factors Affecting Teen Mental Health
In 2019, the CDC reported that the percentage of high school students with depression symptoms was nearly 40%, and almost 20% had suicidal thoughts. Two years later, the number of students experiencing persistent sadness and hopelessness had risen to 44%, and suicide is now the second leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds.
While adolescence has always been a rocky time characterized by rapid changes and difficult emotions, teens and young adults are inheriting a world in which upheaval and unrest are the norm. Many of them have fallen victim to the physical and psychological ramifications of chronic stress, characterized by symptoms ranging from insomnia to a weakened immune system. If left unaddressed, chronic stress can also cause long-term health problems like heart disease and depression.
Identifying Teen Mental Health Symptoms
Unfortunately, younger people often lack access to the resources that can help improve their mental well-being. The “new normal” created by the pandemic has left teens more isolated and introverted than ever before. Activities like playing team sports or joining academic clubs may be less accessible than they were pre-pandemic, meaning many adolescents are missing out on vital outlets for socializing. One of the most important things any parent can do is learn the signs that something is wrong.
Warning signs of teen mental illness can include:
- Weight gain or loss
- Neglecting personal hygiene
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable hobbies
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Poor academic performance
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Mood swings
- Substance abuse
Starting a Conversation About Teen Mental Health
To cope with depression and anxiety, many teens sleep more than usual and spend hours on their phones – neither of which is a helpful coping mechanism. While sleep should be refreshing and restorative, hypersomnia can become an unhealthy way of escaping from emotions instead of confronting them. Additionally, too much screen time could increase antisocial tendencies, while “doomscrolling” through news headlines can make people feel more anxious.
Fortunately, robust mental health resources for teens are just a click or call away.
Teens and young adults may need professional help to improve their mental well-being and deal with the obstacles they face. At R&A Therapeutic Partners, we make healing possible through our expertise, allowing us to offer services including dual-diagnosis evaluations, interventions and outpatient programs. Our relationships with other expert treatment providers allow us to coordinate care plans for a concierge experience. We connect teenagers with mental health resources that provide support, treatment and actionable steps to move forward.
If your family is struggling, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our experience and what we can do for you. We welcome clients from throughout Florida and nationwide.
At R&A Therapeutic Partners Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno specialize in substance use and mental health disorder evaluations, treatment, intervention and therapeutic/educational consulting for clients throughout the greater South Florida area, as well as nationally and internationally. For more resources and information please visit Therapeutic-Partners.com or on Facebook.