Youth Mental Health is Worsening – Here’s What We Can Do

New research suggests that there have been major changes in the mental health of young people.

According to this research, physical factors – including climate change – have worsened the mental health of youth.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a major factor, pushed the decline of mental health farther than we might have thought.

School shootings, and mass-shootings in general, have become a serious source of upset, as well.

In 2019, 13% of adolescents reported having depressive episodes and suicide rates jumped by 60% in 2018.

Now, many young people use psychiatric drugs to help with depression and anxiety.  But there are more options.

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  Here’s what they post, today:

A new National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Teen Poll, conducted by Ipsos, found that teens who are struggling with their mental health are looking to their schools and parents for information and support.

“While the pandemic has taken a toll on our young people’s mental health, which was already showing troubling signs, this poll of young people shows that adults and schools have the opportunity — and an obligation — to help,” said Daniel H. Gillison Jr., CEO of NAMI.

According to the poll, about 1 in 4 teens have been diagnosed with a mental health condition, and 64% feel the world is more stressful now than when their parents were their age.  


Parents can help by normalizing mental health conversations early on and by acknowledging their own emotions and coping strategies.

To help parents, NAMI offers NAMI Basics, a no-cost educational course for parents of children with mental health conditions and is available both in-person and on demand.

Additionally, about 4 in 5 teens who seek mental health information from their teachers say they trust those adults, which provides a large opportunity for schools.

NAMI Ending the Silence is a presentation program for middle- and high-school youth that provides essential information about mental health, as well as a personal story from a young person with a mental health condition.

Additional Resources for Parents: NAMI Basics OnDemand and local NAMI Family-to-Family Support Groups as well as the NAMI Kids, Teens and Young Adults section.

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