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Children’s Mental Health – A Timely Concern

There is an uptick in teens dealing with mental health issues right now and we all can take steps to help them. Research shows 1 in 3 high school students in our country right now are reporting difficulties like persistent sadness, hopelessness, severe anxiety, worries and high rates of stress.

In this post-COVID era there are so many adaptations teens, and families in general, are being forced to make – and with less resources. This makes for the perfect storm of stress and challenges they can’t make without professional support.

Crystal Cederna-Meko, PsyD at Hurley Children’s Hospital says, “If teen mental health issues aren’t addressed, they can affect grades, peer and family relationships, decision making and health and development. It’s so important to identify issues at this stage and address them because habits and behaviors formed at this age can carry over into adulthood.”

She says these following things can really help a teen right now:

  • Build strong relationships with teens at school and home
  • Every teen needs to know there is at least 1 person wo supports and loves them unconditionally
  • If you see changes in a teen that are lasting, seek professional help
  • Let them know strong emotions are okay
  • If they are voicing concerns, take those concerns seriously and get them help

It’s critical teens have a solid foundation. Teens don’t have a voice a lot of times and they need that. They are our future and we need to help them grow. A support system is so crucial. When teens know they have support, the can get through so much more than if they feel isolated.