Adolescent mental health - the facts

Adolescent mental health – the facts

Studies done on mental health issues in adolescents indicate a serious problem growing in our society. Consider that about 20% of adolescents, as well as children, suffer from some form of mental health disorder. The truth is that an alarming percentage of youth from grades 8 and up today are struggling with things like depression and anxiety.

Many of these youths have then gone on to use drugs or have tried to commit suicide. The problem is that many adolescents are dealing with mental health problems and are not getting the help they need. The reason could be because there is not enough awareness on the subject and there is just no services or resources readily available.

Research also indicates that many youths who suffer from depression or anxiety have at least one parent who also suffers from the same problem or has some type of mental health disorder. Discovering problems and fostering mental wellness early on in adolescence will go a long way in ensuring a positive transition into adulthood.

Again, research shows that about one in five adolescents are living with a mental health disorder. This means that these young minds are struggling and missing opportunities to learn and grow. But why is there such a large percentage affected? Schools just don’t have the resources or capacity to help those who need it.

Today, teachers in public schools are overwhelmed with responsibilities and sometimes there are so many children in one class that individual attention is virtually impossible. Teachers are also not trained to spot the symptoms. Some schools may have counsellors on board, but many don’t, and the number of children assigned to each counsellor is overwhelming.

In a perfect world, all concerned from parents to teachers and other staff should be trained and be able to pick up on the signs indicating a mental health problem. Counsellors should then be brought in and, if necessary, outside assistance can be brought in. Early detection would make all the difference, but school staff are so overwhelmed with everything else that many kids’ slip through the cracks.