We all know that that being a teenager comes along with many new and exciting experiences. Looking back on those years (many, MANY years ago for some of us!), you may remember the feeling of finally getting your driver’s licensce and gaining a newfound independence, or integrating with a new circle of friends at school, or experiencing a new hobby/activity individually or as part of a team. And the list goes on. We also know from our own life experiences that attempting or experiencing something new – which teenagers often do as they grow – dares us to face an unknown or a sometimes difficult experience, which can result in an imblance of emotions that can later lead to stress, depression, and/or anxiety. For example, teens can develop feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy over being excluded or bullied by their peers. School performance, social status, sexual orientation, or family life can be other factors that may result in an onset of mental health symptoms. In addition to the social factors, teenagers are also dealing with rapid changes to their bodies, hormones and lives in an era of non-stop information overload. To sum it up, navigating all of the exciting, yet challenging years as a teenager can be bittersweet – and a newly published study by the Pew Research Center reveals that teens are no stranger to this notion.
The New York Times recently featured data from the study in an article citing that a surprising 70% of teenagers view mental health as a big issue, and see depression and axiety as major problems among their peers. Julian Horowitz, an Associate Director at the research center even commented that the consistency of the responses about mental health issues across gender, race, and income lines was striking.
For many adults in today’s society, mental health issues were not so commonly discussed or made as well-known when they were growing up. So what has caused such an increased AWARENESS of mental health amongst our nation’s teens today? The answer (according to some psychologists): An increase in mental health ISSUES, combined with better screening practices.
Odds are, there is a teenager in your life – wether immediate or extended family, a friend, neighbor or co-worker, etc. who is struggling with stress, anxiety or depression. Our best advice is listen without judgement, and provide them with the opportunity to talk to a mental health counselor and/or seek treatment if needed. As always, Plymouth Psych Group is a resource for all of your family’s mental health needs and we would love the opportunity to serve you. The 10-week Balanced Emotions Program here at Plymouth Psych Group will help your teenager address the challenges they are facing and get them on the path to mental heath success for their future. Our next session is set to begin on April 15th and is currently open for enrollment. Contact us at 952-444-2099 or email email@example.com for more information.