MENTAL HEALTH FOR TEENS

Key Facts

  • Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder, accounting for 13% of the global burden of disease in this age group.

  • Depression, anxiety, and behavioral disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.

  • Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–19-year-olds.

  • The consequences of failing to address adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.

  • One in six people are aged 10-19 years. Adolescence is a unique and formative time. Physical, emotional, and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Protecting adolescents from adversity, promoting socio-emotional learning and psychological well-being, and ensuring access to mental health care are critical for their health and well-being during adolescence and adulthood.

  • Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) 10–19-year-olds experience mental health conditions (1), yet these remain largely unrecognized and untreated.

  • Adolescents with mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, stigma (affecting readiness to seek help), educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviors, physical ill-health and human rights violations.

 

Adolescence is a crucial period for developing social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. These include adopting healthy sleep patterns; exercising regularly; developing coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; and learning to manage emotions. Protective and supportive environments in the family, at school and in the wider community are important.

Multiple factors affect mental health. The more risk factors adolescents are exposed to, the greater the potential impact on their mental health. Factors that can contribute to stress during adolescence include exposure to adversity, pressure to conform with peers and exploration of identity. Media influence and gender norms can exacerbate the disparity between an adolescent’s lived reality and their perceptions or aspirations for the future. Other important determinants include the quality of their home life and relationships with peers. Violence (especially sexual violence and bullying), harsh parenting and severe and socioeconomic problems are recognized risks to mental health.

Some adolescents are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services. These include adolescents living in humanitarian and fragile settings; adolescents with chronic illness, autism spectrum disorder, an intellectual disability or other neurological condition; pregnant adolescents, adolescent parents, or those in early or forced marriages; orphans; and adolescents from minority ethnic or sexual backgrounds or other discriminated groups.

Mental health promotion and prevention interventions aim to strengthen an individual's capacity to regulate emotions, enhance alternatives to risk-taking behaviors, build resilience for managing difficult situations and adversity, and promote supportive social environments and social networks.

These programs require a multi-level approach with varied delivery platforms – for example, digital media, health or social care settings, schools or the community – and varied strategies to reach adolescents, particularly the most vulnerable.

It is crucial to address the needs of adolescents with mental health conditions. Avoiding institutionalization and over-medicalization, prioritizing non-pharmacological approaches, and respecting the rights of children in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other human rights instruments are key for adolescents’ mental health.

 

To provide support in this area, Primrose Intervention Services LLC offers a promising, teen-friendly approach to promoting positive change in young adults. Our staff includes like minded educators who collaborate with reducing some of the stressors that teens are faced with.  Peer pressure can cause your teen to act in ways that can be detrimental in the choices they make and can cause extensive damage to their and overall well-being.