Adolescence is a formative time in an individual's life. Difficult emotions may arise as they manage various aspects of life, such as friendships, school, home life, and more. With one in seven individuals between the ages of 10-19 being diagnosed with a mental illness, getting the right help during adolescence is extremely important for the current and future of an individual's mental health.
How to help a teen or young adult struggling with mental health issues:
- Know the warning signs. Analyzing the behavioral signs and symptoms of a child, young teen, or adolescent can help to determine the next steps in their mental health journey. The National Institute of Mental Health lists many behavioral signs that can be associated with mental illness, including frequent tantrums, the inability to sit still, and sleeping too much or too little as. Noticing these signs can help to understand when it's necessary to seek the help of a health professional.
- Educate yourself about mental illness. Learning as much as possible about mental health and illness is crucial to helping others who may need help managing their own. The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a free 6-session education program for parents, caregivers, and other families who provide care for youth (ages 22 and younger) who are experiencing mental health symptoms.
- Talk about mental health. Talking openly about mental health with an individual experiencing symptoms is critical in helping them. Open and honest communication about depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts reduces the stigma of silence around these issues, letting the individual know that it is encouraged to talk about mental health issues.