It's World Teen Mental Wellness Day!

It is never too early to start having conversations with your kids about their mental health. The teenage years can be especially difficult to navigate, with or without a mental health diagnosis. So supporting your teen and having important conversations about their feelings and stressors is critical for healthy development.

A study conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) showed that between 2016 and 2020, the number of children ages 3-17 years diagnosed with depression grew by 27%. The global mental health crisis is not going away, especially now on the heels of the pandemic. Awareness and early intervention is crucial to help teens take care of their mental health before they reach a point of crisis.

Teens likely already know the importance of mental and emotional health, but seeing the adults in their lives prioritize and put mental health coping strategies into action is incredibly important. Attention to mental health during the teen years can lead to development of crucial, lifelong skills such as emotional regulation, distress tolerance and healthy coping skills. If you or your teen need support, the counseling professionals at Our Chicago Pure Health Counseling Center can help your teen take control of their mental wellness today.

Why is Mental Health So Important For Teens?

Teenage years are full of a lot of emotional, mental and physical changes. This can be a confusing and overwhelming time for many; transitioning from children to young adults. This is a time of increased responsibility, freedom and pressure. This transition can be difficult for a lot of teens.

Understanding and taking care of their mental health can be a major protective factor for many teens. Healthy teenagers have developed their communication skills, emotional skills and problem solving/thinking skills. On the flipside, teens with unhealthy mental health practices are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, and suffer low life satisfaction and low motivation, among other serious consequences.

The most prevalent mental health diagnoses amongst teens are depression and anxiety. Recent findings indicate that it is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) 10–19 year-olds experience mental health conditions globally. Addressing these mental health conditions can be potentially life saving. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds. Stressing the importance of mental health and seeking help can help teens create a healthy relationship with their feelings and therapy from a young age and avoid a mental health crisis.

How to Know When Your Teen Needs Help

Many teens may not be too open or willing to discuss their feelings and mental health with anyone, let alone their parents. Knowing the signs to look for can help prompt an important discussion on mental health with your teen. The following list is just an example of signs your teen may be in distress:

  • Isolating
  • Poor academic performance
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Experimenting with substance use
  • Irritability
  • Changes in weight/appetite
  • Hanging out with different friend groups

These symptoms can make it difficult to distinguish between a teenager being a teenager, or a larger problem at hand. About 70% of teens experiencing mental health symptoms will not ask for help. Stigma around mental health can make it difficult for a teenager to reach out for help. This is why knowing some of the warning signs and proactively engaging your teen in these conversations and treatment is so important. Offering support and resources can help your teen get the help they need, and help your teen support their friends.

Meet Eve Gottesman

Eve is a licensed social worker who has experience working with adolescents and young adults. She is knowledgeable effectively treating diagnoses commonly seen amongst adolescents, such as anxiety and depression. Eve learns about her clients to support them and work with them in a way that is most comfortable for each of her clients. Eve is passionate about encouraging individuals to learn about and embrace mental wellness.

Meet Keeva Williams

Keeva is a licensed social worker who specializes in working with adolescents and life transitions. Keeva is empathetic and effectively works to understand her client’s pressures in their life transition and how to mitigate challenges and mental health symptoms that arise during this difficult time. Keeva focuses on forming a trusting relationship and alliance with her clients to help teens identify and solve their complex problems.

World Teen Mental Wellness Day

Promoting and normalizing mental health for teenagers can help set teens up for a better, healthier life. Teaching teens to prioritize their mental health is an invaluable lifelong lesson. Mental health and mental wellness may not be “cool” to talk about, and conversations like this can change the stigma for generations of teens to come.

It is not easy being a teenager and it is not easy asking for help. The professionals at Pure Health Center are here to help your teen find their way to mental wellness.

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