The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that young people are facing “devastating” mental health effects as a result of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Teenagers are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety due to a variety of factors, such as interruptions to their everyday lives, social isolation, uncertainty about the future, and worries about their own and their families’ health. Johns Hopkins University highlights common challenges faced by teens during the pandemic, as well as provides respective solutions to support their mental health, some of which include the following:
- Social Isolation
- Challenge: Social distancing measures have limited in-person interactions, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation among teenagers.
- Solution: Encourage virtual social interactions through video calls, online gaming, and/ or social media platforms. Schools can also organize virtual clubs and activities to promote social connections.
- Academic Stress:
- Challenge: Transitioning to online learning and adapting to new educational formats can be nerve-wracking. Further, academic pressures and uncertainties about exams and college admissions can exacerbate stress.
- Solution: Schools can provide additional academic support, create flexible learning schedules, and offer mental health resources, along with promoting open communication between students, teachers, and parents to address concerns.
- Not Knowing What the Future Holds:
- Challenge: Teens may experience anxiety about the future, including concerns about job prospects, college applications, and overall life plans.
- Solution: Provide career counseling and guidance. Encourage goal setting and focus on building adaptable skills. Emphasize that it is natural to feel uneasy during these unprecedented times and embracing flexibility may be advantageous.
- Social Isolation
- Increased Screen Time:
- Challenge: With online learning, socializing, and entertainment moving primarily to a virtual setting, teenagers are spending more time in front of screens, leading to potential negative impacts on mental health.
- Solution: Promote taking breaks from screens for leisure, hobbies, and exercise. Encourage family members to take periodic digital detoxes. Limit screen time before bedtime to improve sleep quality.
- Mental Health Stigma:
- Challenge: Stigma surrounding mental health issues can pose as a burrier to treatment as it may deter teens in need from pursuing professional support.
- Solution: Promote mental health awareness and create a supportive environment where seeking help for mental health concerns is encouraged and respected.
By addressing these challenges and implementing supportive strategies, teens can navigate the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining good mental health and well-being. Collaboration between schools, parents, mental health professionals, and the community is essential in providing comprehensive support to teenagers during these trying times.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE ADMISSIONS TEAM CAN BE REACHED 24/7 AT INFO@PACIFICRTC.COM OR CALL: (866) 602-5512
We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.