Mental health concerns among teens are on the rise. Rates of suicide, depression, and anxiety were already increasing before COVID-19, but the pandemic has worsened mental health among teenagers. Many teens are in crisis and need help.
Why Are Teens in Crisis?
There are many reasons for the increase in mental health disorders among teens. The pandemic, the opioid crisis, political unrest, changes in school routines, and being isolated from friends and family members all add to the stressors teenagers already have to deal with every day. Many teens have also lost parents, grandparents, and other loved ones to COVID-19.
At school, they deal with pressure to succeed academically and athletically. They also face the possibility of being bullied, both in person and online. Social media can add to the pressure, as teens compare their lives to the seemingly perfect lives of others. Teens who identify as LGBTQ+ may have additional stressors, such as discrimination, violence, and feeling like they have to hide their true identity.
In addition to external factors, teenagers also undergo many internal changes. They are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in the world. For many, this is a time of great anxiety and stress. Many may also be dealing with the onset of mental health disorders, including:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
Signs Your Teen May Be in Crisis
It’s sometimes hard to decipher whether your teen is just going through a phase or if they are indeed in crisis. Not every low mood or poor grade is a sign your child is in trouble, but understanding the warning signs of poor mental health may help you recognize a problem before it becomes severe. Look for these warning signs your teen is struggling:
- Engaging in violence indicates that your teenager is in crisis and needs professional help. Expressing a desire to hurt or kill themselves through words or actions, is a red flag.
- Avoiding friends could be a sign your teen is experimenting with substances or engaging in other harmful behaviors
- A drop in grades or extra-curricular activities could be a sign your child is experiencing an emotional disturbance.
- Overuse of electronics hurts social, mental, and physical health and could be a form of escapism.
- Experimentation with drugs and alcohol may be viewed as typical for teens, but frequent use is a red flag for addiction.
Don’t delay treatment if your teen is exhibiting any of the above warning signs or other signs of poor mental health. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other disorders don’t go away with time. In fact, they usually get worse without treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment may help your teenager avoid a crisis and develop healthy skills.
Learn More About Crisis Intervention at Imagine Boise
If you are concerned about your teenager’s mental health, it may be time to learn about crisis intervention. Parents can’t control everything in the outside world, but they can take steps to protect their teen’s mental health. The crisis intervention program at Imagine Boise is developed specifically to assist teens who need professional mental health support. We also offer a variety of other services to help teens in crisis, including an intensive outpatient program, partial hospitalization program, therapy services, support groups, and family counseling.
For more information about our crisis intervention and other services, call Imagine Boise at 208.487.8260. We’re here to help your teen get through this challenging time with the necessary mental health support.