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Adolescent Mental Health

Apr 08, 2023

Adolescent Mental Health
Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death amongst 15-29 year olds. Early diagnosis and providing services to your child and their family can make a huge impact on your children’s lives. Read on to find out more.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Many mental health conditions start in adolescence. Here is some information to help you understand mental health and how to talk with your child about your concerns. 

Unfortunately, poor mental health in teens is on the rise. In fact, one in seven teens, ages 10-19 years old, are currently experiencing a mental health disorder, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds.

Make sure you and your teen are aware of the national suicide hotline number 988, and that someone is always available to talk whenever you and your child need it.

Our pediatric and behavioral health teams at Catalyst Medical Group understand that recognizing the signs of poor mental health in teens can sometimes be tough. We can offer some insight into whether your adolescent child might be struggling with a mental health crisis and how to encourage them.

Signs of poor mental health in teens

Teens face a lot of pressure to succeed in everything they do from school to sports to other extracurricular activities. They also have jam-packed schedules and have to deal with worries about social standings and bullying.

If your teen is having trouble balancing it all and is struggling with poor mental health as a result, you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Notable changes in sleep, weight, or eating habits
  • Loss of interest in activities they typically enjoy
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason
  • Having difficulty concentrating or sitting still
  • Signs of drug or alcohol use

Your teen may also have intense worries and fears that interfere with their daily life and activities.

How to help your teen

The most common mental health conditions that teens struggle with are attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. Here are some things you can do to help and encourage them if they’re struggling with these conditions:

Start a conversation

Don’t wait for them to talk to you about their struggles because that probably won’t happen. Instead, let them know that you’ve noticed their struggles and that you’re available to talk whenever they’re ready. 

Give them support

Support your teen by learning more about common mental health conditions. Offer to find a support group or a therapist for them to talk to. Above all, avoid telling them to “toughen up” or “get over it” as this will increase the stress they’re working through.

Most importantly, make sure you and your teen are aware of the national suicide hotline number 988, and that someone is always available to talk whenever you and your child need it.

Next steps

If you feel that your teen needs to be seen for their mental health, contact your child’s primary care provider for evaluation first. They may prescribe a medication to help balance the physical symptoms. Next, contact the counselors in our Mental Health Wellness Center for support services. Give us a call at 208.746.1383, and we’ll get you scheduled.