When it comes to mental health disorders and teens, it is easy to become discouraged. This is because the statistics regarding mental health in the teenage population are staggering. What’s more, this prevalence continues to increase rather than decrease.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “Many adolescents experience positive mental health, but an estimated 49.5% of adolescents have had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives.” Almost 50% of kids struggling with mental illness is not a statistic that sits well with us. Nor should they sit well with anyone. That is why we here at Clearview Girls Academy have made it our mission to help young women recover from issues of mental health and life-controlling issues.
How Prevalent Are Mental Health Disorders in Teens?
As previously mentioned, the HHS estimates that nearly 50% of adolescents have experienced a mental health disorder. That statistic may be more impactful if you realize that 50% of the adolescent population equals 21 million young people in the U.S. Also, this is not the only organization that has produced these types of numbers. What’s more, these statistics have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a recent press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In 2021, more than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19.” Poor mental health among teens was already on the rise before the pandemic. In fact, regarding increased issues of negative mental health, the CDC explains that “Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness increased 40% between 2009-2019 for U.S. high school students.”
What happens now that we know there seems to be a mental health “epidemic” among teens in the U.S.? There are ultimately only two choices. We can stay silent and watch these issues progress, or we can do something about it. So we here at Clearview Girls Academy have chosen the latter, and we make it our mission to do so every day.
Some of the Warning Signs of Teen Mental Health Disorders
One of the best ways of addressing mental health disorders in teens is by being observant and vigilant. Being alert allows a person to take preventative action rather than only reactive or restorative. Though, of course, the latter two types of actions are critical for teens already struggling with mental health disorders.
While the spectrum of teen mental health disorders is broad, there are some common warning signs that can help a parent or caretaker determine whether they should seek professional mental health care. The following are some, but certainly not all, of the teen mental health warning signs to watch for:
- A sudden change in behavior without any specific explainable external factor
- The appearance of mood swings that can often be aggressive and/or angry
- A drop in academic performance without being able to pinpoint a specific reason
- Noticeable changes in sleep patterns, which include not sleeping enough or sleeping too much
- Excessive feelings of loneliness, sadness, and/or emptiness
- Noticeable changes in eating patterns, which can cause excessive weight gain or weight loss
- The use of illicit substances as coping mechanisms for other issues
- The expression of desires to harm themselves or contemplations of suicide
Getting Professional Help Sooner Rather Than Later
When it comes to teens and mental health disorders, it is important not to minimize their issues simply because they are younger. There is a tendency for many people to fall into the trap of the “kids will be kids” mentality. This mentality can stand in the way of seeking the professional help a teen needs.
Yes, sometimes these behaviors are isolated and they simply come with being young. However, as we can see from the previous list of warning signs, teen mental health is serious. There is no harm in reaching out sooner than later. The worst that could happen from reaching out is that you may have been “overacting.” However, the worst that could happen from not reaching out can be difficult to come to terms with.
The Recovery Mission at Clearview Girls Academy
Here at Clearview Girls Academy, we do not take teen mental health disorders lightly. In fact, we have made it our mission to chip away at those staggering mental health statistics one student at a time.
We believe that all of our students can recover if they are ready, willing, and able. Sometimes those first two qualities don’t exist when a student arrives at the recovery center. That’s why we first focus on developing the qualities of readiness and willingness. As for ability, we have faith that our students can accomplish anything once the monkey of mental illness is off of their backs.
We like to say we “light the path” of our students’ recovery. Also, we know that once that light is lit, our students have the power to make it as bright as they want it to be. We have seen them do it for over 25 years and we look forward to seeing it for many more.
When statistics like “one in five adolescents being affected by a mental health disorder in the United States” exist, it is time to take note and take action. That is why we here at Clearview Girls Academy have made it our mission to help young women struggling with life-controlling issues and mental health disorders attain and maintain recovery. For over 25 years, we have made that mission a reality and helped countless young women get their lives back. If you feel like your daughter is struggling with issues of mental health, please do not wait to get help. For more information on the prevalence of mental health disorders in teens, please reach out to Clearview Girls Academy today at (888) 796-5484.