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Mental health encompasses one’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, and is an essential component of overall health. Mental health problems in teenagers include a wide breadth of conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to severe. According to the Mayo Clinic, mental health disorders in young people are “generally defined as delays or disruptions in developing age-appropriate thinking, behaviors, social skills or regulation of emotions. These problems are distressing to children and disrupt their ability to function well at home, in school or in other social situations.” Data presented from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that an estimated 49.5% of adolescents aged 13-18 in America had AMI (any mental illness). Of the nearly fifty percent of adolescents with AMI, approximately 22.2% had severe impairment. Empirical evidence confirms that most mental health disorders follow a developmental course that typically starts early in life, and according to findings from the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative half of all mental health conditions start by age 14 but most cases go undetected and untreated. 

Teenage Mental Health Treatment

There are many resources and a variety of treatment options (e.g., traditional, holistic, expressive, etc.) available to a teen in need of mental health treatment. The path of recovery will not be the same for everyone, as the treatment process is entirely personal, and it will be directly informed by one’s personality, mental health, and emotional needs. Because every adolescent is different, each will require a customized treatment plan to ensure all nuanced mental health needs are met. Still, cultural competence, which is the capacity to function effectively in cultural settings other than one’s own, has become a central concept in adolescent mental health treatment. Cultural sensitivity is defined as “awareness and appreciation of the values, norms, and beliefs characteristic of a cultural, ethnic, racial, or other group that is not one’s own, accompanied by a willingness to adapt one’s behavior accordingly.” Culturally sensitive mental health providers are focused on recognizing the cultural variation in clients’ mental health-related beliefs and facilitates activities to improve cross-cultural communication and teenage mental health outcomes.

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. 


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