Teen Mental Health
As the Global Pandemic proceeds to affect many countries, specifically the United States, teens across the world are still stuck behind their computer screens. With little to no time with friends, social life, athletics, and activities that we all love to enjoy, teens are resorting to their only option: screen time. Although Gen-z is perceived as “I-Gen”, that still doesn’t mean that we like to spend close to eight to nine hours a day looking at the same entertainment platforms, games, movies, TV shows, etc. Although the pandemic may have shown some of us our passions and an outlook for a hopeful future, most teens struggled with academics and being closed indoors. With the same standards expected from teachers and adults, teens have experienced an overwhelmingly and abrupt change across all boards. Not only through the pandemic, as well as racial injustice, global climate change, school shootings, and college tuitions have all brought on a totally different world of separation and isolation from everyone. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “75% of respondents ages 18-24 reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom. Twenty-five percent of respondents in this age group seriously considered suicide in the 30 days before completing the survey.” Teen suicide is also the second-highest cause of death, with a 14% risk in ages 15-24, behind accidental deaths at a 48% risk, and in front of homicides at 11%. Although the United States has seen a sixty-percent increase in suicides of ages 15-24 since the 2008 recession, 2020 has had the highest with deaths by suicide, at eleven per every 100,000 teen ages 15-19.
So What Now?
Although it seems difficult, all it takes is someone to reach out help. During such a difficult time, if you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, reach out and get support. After seeing too many cases of teens taking their own life, as well as struggling with my own mental health problems, reaching out and being able to share on such a large platform on such a rough topic for so many of us young adults was the only topic I felt I could do. Becoming an adult through such a difficult, yet different time, I’ve seen too many circumstances and episodes of drug abuse, substance abuse, mental health and any other cause to take a life being taken. Locally, especially through our school, suicide prevention and talk about mental health has become a much more normal conversation, and with the help our guidance counselors, my friends and I have all been positively affected by the openness of struggling with mental health. In the picture to the left, there are three steps that you, or someone you know can take to prevent the decline of mental health. If suicide ever becomes a thought, see the signs, whether that’s through loss of connection or communication, physical appearance or any manner seen unfit. Secondly, finding the right words, whether that is talking to your parents, advisors, counselors, or knowing how to say the right words to your friend or partner. And lastly, reaching out. All it takes is one person to show that they care about you or someone you know, so do it!
Comments: Let me know in the comments how:
- COVID-19 has affected you and your mental health
- If you enjoyed this type of content and want to pursue more
- How COVID-19 has made you into a better person/ positive outcomes
Work Cited Page: https://docs.google.com/document/d/181mSptUHywfUNQL39n4I8JUa58zJKnrt4MNmngnISls/edit?usp=sharing