Steps to help your teens mental health

Table of Contents What are the signs my child could need counseling?Where do I go for help for my child?How long will we have to wait to get help?What if I can’t get an appointment for my teen for a month or more? What can I do help?How do I make my […]

“When will we ever get a break? When will things actually get better?”

These questions come from Bailey Ganey, a 14-year-old freshman who survived the Oxford High School shooting last month.

They are feelings echoed by many teens across Michigan as students head into a two-week holiday vacation after a stressful string of  pandemic and copy-cat threat school shutdowns. Experts urge parents and caregivers to use this time to talk to their kids, recognizing that COVID-19  and school safety worries have piled dangerous levels of anxiety onto the already pressure-filled lives of young people. 

“We’ve been through so much, not just in Oxford, but worldwide. We’ve been going through this stuff for over a year now,” said Ganey. “People need to realize that things with mental health, it should be taken seriously … how to recognize the signs in people before it gets to that kind of point where they harm themselves or other people.”

U.S. Surgeon Gen. Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a rare public health advisory earlier this month, citing national surveys that show 1 in 3 high school students reported persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness in 2019 — an increase of 40% since 2009. Prevalence is higher among girls than boys. About half of high school girls reported feeling that way. 

“The challenges today’s generation of young people face are unprecedented and uniquely hard to navigate. And the effect these challenges have had on their mental health is devastating,” Murthy said. “Too often, young people are bombarded with messages through the media and popular culture that erode their sense of self-worth — telling them they are not good looking enough, popular enough, smart enough, or rich enough. 

https://www.freep.com/story/news/health/2021/12/19/steps-help-your-teen-mental-health/6507849001/

Dong Anker

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