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Understanding The Importance Of The Mental Well-Being Of Adolescents

The mental well-being of an individual has been one of the most discussed topics in the past few years. People are recognizing the importance of mental health, especially Gen Z, who is interested in addressing the issues like depression and anxiety. Over the last few years, pandemics and other diseases or events might have affected mental health. At some point in our lives, we have also struggled with mental health issues. Today, we discussed the importance of the mental well-being of adolescents.


 


What Is Mental Health, And Why Is It Crucial?


 


Mental health is the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of an individual. How we handle stress, anxiety, or other related issues impacts our mental health, directly affecting our choices. Dr. Darleen Dempster, a Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) clinical faculty member in the clinical mental health counseling program, said, 


 


“When in a state of good mental health, a person has a generally positive outlook, can accomplish daily tasks, maintain relationships, and engage in meaningful recreation.” “This includes a sense of balance and empowerment to set boundaries and address life and work goals, step by step.”


 


This emphasizes the significance of mental health. Our lives, relationships, careers, education, and aims and goals were all influenced by our mental health. 


 


The World Health Organization (WHO) reports a significant increase in people suffering from the mental health crisis in recent years, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating mental health issues worldwide. According to the WHO, one out of every six people is between the ages of 10 and 19 which is a unique turn in a child's life. The child experiences many physical, social, and emotional changes at that time. However, situations like poverty, abuse, and violence leave adolescents in a vulnerable state of mental health. 


 


WHO estimated that one in every seven (14%) 10-19 year-olds suffers from mental health problems. These conditions left adolescents vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, stigma (which influences their willingness to seek help), educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviors, physical illness, and human rights violations. 


 


Depression is one of the most severe conditions discussed with mental issues. According to a COVID States Project report, 50% of young people aged 18-24 have moderate or severe depression, while another 23% have mild symptoms. 


 


Factors Influence the Mental Well-being:


 


Adolescence is a critical time in a child’s life. The more risk factors adolescents are exposed to, the worse their mental health may suffer. Environmental and interpersonal factors influence young people's mental health, from their homes and schools to their families, social networks, communities, and cultures. Some factors that contribute to stress during adolescence are exposure to adversity, peer pressure, and identity exploration. Media influence and gender norms exacerbated the disparity between adolescents' lived reality and their perceptions or aspirations for the future. The quality of their home life and relationships with peers are also important determinants. Violence (particularly sexual violence and bullying), harsh parenting, and severe socioeconomic problems are all known risks to one's mental well-being. Lack of support and acceptance in their communities and environments is also a determinant of mental health risks. 


 


How To Cope With a Mental Health Crisis:


 


Adolescence is a crucial time for developing social and emotional habits significant for mental well-being. Numerous activities, such as creating regular exercise routines, learning how to control your emotions, and developing coping and problem-solving skills, should be practiced by young people for mental well-being. It is essential to create safe and encouraging environments in the home, at school, and in the larger community. These practices will assist them in creating a healthier environment for their mental health. 


 


Obstacles To Mental Well-Being:


 


Compared to 2019, researchers discovered that 48 percent of young adults had mental health symptoms in 2021. However, only one-third received treatment, while another third stated that they desired but did not receive assistance. 


 


Here the question arises, why is it hard to receive mental health treatment? The reasons may vary in different situations. Some of the main reasons are:


 


Resistance:


Young people are self-reliant and prefer to handle situations like these on their own. They are afraid to rely on others or medications. However, these sources are incredible in curing.


 


Lack of knowledge:


The mental health literacy rate is low among many youths. Teens struggling with mental health conditions are not aware of the knowledge related to mental health. Demographic disparities contribute to this. This results in increasing cases of mental illness. 


 


Fear of Judgment:


Many young people are afraid to be judged by others. They do not want to be seen as a burden or want to maintain their self-esteem in front of their peers. 


 


Repercussion:


Young might think they may have to face the repercussion if they ask for support for their mental health. Therefore, they choose to stay silent than face the consequences of their request.


 


 


WHO has been working on many projects related to mental well-being, especially among children and youth. In October, UNICEF and WHO co-hosted the child, adolescent, and young people technical session at the Global Mental Health Summit in Rome. In the technical session, stakeholders share their actions on promoting skills, rights, and care for children's mental health. It is a session to ensure that child, adolescent, and caregiver mental health is at the forefront of discussions.


 


In conclusion, we can say that mental well-being is one of the significant aspects of an individual life. And at some point in our life, we may encounter mental health issues. Adults have to promote better mental healthcare for adolescents and teens. They need to listen and open a room for dialogue for the adolescents to share their problems with them. Parents, teachers, and peers must actively listen to their children's mental health concerns. They must ensure that teens' feelings are not judged. Schools should need to initiate counseling programs or sessions on mental health awareness. And lastly, adults need to empathize with the young. 


 


To summarize, to create a brighter future for adolescents and teens struggling with mental health, we have to work together and put these strategies into action.


 


 


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