Depression Rising Among Teenagers
The article, “Teenagers Say Depression and Anxiety Are Major Issues Among Their Peers” written Karen Zraick highlights on the growing issue of mental health concerns among our country’s youth. Check out the full article here.
The article includes data from a survey by the Pew Research Center, which found that 70 percent of teens in the survey noted that mental health was a big issue.
What is going on?
Based on this study, it seems like mental health concerns are becoming a big deal for teens. Can you blame them? Teens are being hit from all angles with added pressures and expectations, all the while having to deal with their growing bodies and having to navigate getting to adulthood. Read our blog about stressed teens here.
What can we do?
Maybe this article has made the issue apparent to you or maybe you have seen it in your own life, or your kids’ lives. But what can we do to help support our teens?
1. Talk to them
Having a strong social support and knowing that there are people who care and look out for them is a major help for anyone. Take the time to talk with the teen(s) in your life. Whether it be about their day, their schooling, their hobbies, or that person they really don’t like, having someone to talk to can be a major life changer.
2. Show compassion
It’s easy to put pressure on teens. Many of us do so without even realizing it. From a young age, kids are constantly asked about what they want to do for a career, where they want to go to college, the list goes on. These questions are in no way inherently harmful, but putting too much pressure on teens and not giving attention to their feelings or concerns can be really overwhelming. Monitor how you talk with the teen(s) in your life and see how often you ask these questions and how they respond back to you.
3. Be aware of the warning signs
Take the time to educate yourself on warning signs of different mental conditions (especially anxiety and depression) and keep an eye on the teen(s) in your life. If you start to see concerning things pop up, don’t hesitate to talk with them and see if they’re okay. Knowing that someone is paying attention and cares about their mental wellbeing is not only comforting, but vitally important.
4. Try out therapy
Again, social support is huge. Social support can be from family members, friends, and also mental health professionals. A therapist’s job is to provide a space for people to openly talk about what they’re going through and to find ways to help them navigate the different challenges and changes they may be facing. And being a teenager comes with a lot of challenges and changes. If a teen in your life needs support, reach out to a therapist to get them started.