While adolescence can be a joyful phase of life, it can be risky for mental health issues. It is the time when your child goes through many changes and challenges in a short period of time. This all happens when your adolescents’ brains are still maturing.
Sadly, a major reason for rising teen mental health issues is not enough attention being paid to their mental health.
Let’s look at what mental health is, why it is so important in adolescents, what you can do about it, and where you can go for adolescent mental health treatment in Tampa, FL.
Adolescent Mental Health: What is It?
Mental health is referred to as psychological, social, and emotional well-being. As an essential part of healthy adolescent development, good mental health helps young people build positive emotional, social, communication, and thinking skills and behaviors.
The mental health of the adolescent is considered good when they:
- Feel more positive and happier about themselves
- Enjoy life to its fullest
- Bounce back from disappointments and upsets
- Develop and maintain healthy relationships with their friends and family
- Participate in activities
- Have a sense of achievement
- Take care of their physical health and eat a healthy diet
- Feel that they are an important part of the community
Many things can impact the mental and behavioral health of adolescents, including:
- Parental drug or alcohol abuse
- Stressful or traumatic events at the school or community level
- Peer rejection
- Traumatic events
- Low self-esteem
- Poor academic achievements
- Anxiety or depression in parents
How Common Are Mental Health Disorders in Adolescents?
According to a report published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness in 2020:
- 50 percent of American teens aged 6-17 years received treatment for mental health disorders
- 1 in 6 adolescents of age between 12-17 years experience a major depressive episode
- Approximately 3 million teens had serious suicidal thoughts
Furthermore, nearly half of mental health issues begin by age 14, and 70 percent begin by the mid-20s.
Importance of Adolescent Mental Health
Our youth is our future, and their mental health is as important as their physical health. Poor mental health in the youth can lead to other health and behavioral risks like experiencing violence, increased risk of drug abuse, and higher risk of indulgence in sexual behaviors that can lead to HIV, STDs, and unintended pregnancies.
The impact of poor mental health does not end here; it continues in adulthood. Many health behaviors and habits that are established in the teens carry into the adult years.
Furthermore, a child that suffers from a mental disorder in adolescents is more likely to experience mental health problems in adulthood, affecting their economic productivity, responsible citizenship, and ability to parent future generations successfully.
How Can You Help?
When you notice that your teens have mental health issues, don’t wait for them to come to you for help. Instead, reach out to them and give them the support they need to overcome their mental health challenges. It’s the best idea to get help from a child’s pediatrician, who can do early interventions to promote the mental health of your teen.
A pediatrician may also refer your teen to a mental health specialist if needed.
Adolescent Mental Health in Tampa, FL
At Children’s Medical Center, we have a team of highly experienced, compassionate, and board-certified pediatricians. Many of our pediatricians are specialized in adolescent health to provide your child the exceptional care they need for their physical, mental, and behavioral issues. We can also vet a mental health specialist for your teen if needed.