*This article is for entertainment and educational purposes only. The information provided is NOT a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Anyone who has raised teenagers or has even been a teen knows that they can experience a very wide range of emotions within a very short span of time. One minute, they are excited about going to a school dance and new friendships; the next, they are mad at everyone and won’t leave their room. In recent years, however, things such as a global pandemic, social media, and a 24-hour news cycle of disaster have contributed to a mental health crisis among many groups, including adolescents.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs, an estimated 49.5% of adolescents has had a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. In addition, experts believe that promoting positive mental health can prevent some problems and that for people with mental health disorders, early intervention and treatment can help lessen the impact on their lives.
Common mental health disorders among adolescents include anxiety disorders, depression, attention deficit disorders, and eating disorders, among others.
Anxiety disorders are sometimes associated with feelings of excessiveness, uneasiness, worry, and fear. According to Health and Human Services, 32% of 13-18-year-olds have experienced anxiety disorders, which is double that prior to COVID-19. Depression is also a common mental health disorder among adolescents, occurring in approximately 13% of 12-17-year-olds, and negatively affects thoughts, feelings, and daily activities.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, warning signs of a mental health disorder may include:
– loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy,
– low energy
– difficulty sleeping or eating
– spending more time alone and avoiding social activities
– excessively exercising, dieting, and/or binge eating
– use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
– engaging in risky or destructive behavior
– thoughts of suicide
– think their mind is being controlled or is out of control or hearing things other people cannot hear
Kooth was created to help in address this mental health crisis. According to their website, Kooth is a digital platform covering over 15 million people internationally. It gives a range of clinically proven, research-based therapies for dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. It is a space to share experiences, gain community support, and interact with qualified professionals.
Kooth works with many groups, including schools. In Pennsylvania, Kooth is government-funded and will work with school officials and professionals to augment existing mental health programs and to improve access to behavioral health services. The company website also states that it is Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant. For more information, go to gov.kooth.com.
Mental health disorders should be taken very seriously. They can often be debilitating and negatively affect many aspects of daily living. Sometimes, these disorders can even be life-threatening. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, seek professional help immediately.