According to a new report from the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), there are some troubling trends emerging regarding teens and their mental health.
More than one-third of high school students say they’re struggling with mental health, and almost half of them are saying they feel “persistently sad or hopeless”. With nearly 20% of teens admitting that they’ve contemplated suicide, there is a renewed urgency to make sure young people are getting the care and support they need.
Dr. Christine Cauffield is the CEO of Lutheran Services Health Systems. Here she offers three insights to help us understand the context of this new data.
- There’s been a 1/3 of students where one or both parents have lost a job, which really escalates the stress of the parents. Other things to consider are that alcohol sales have increased, and family violence has also gone up during the pandemic. The combination of these three things should make us really concerned about our youth.
- About 140,000 youth in a one-year span lost a caregiver— a grandparent, an aunt—somebody really close to them. This has only exacerbated their grief. Unfortunately, the loss of a parent at an early age really puts them on a trajectory of continued poor mental health, like depression and PTSD.
- If you’re wondering how you can tell that your young one is struggling, there are a few signs to look out for. Be on the lookout for declining grades, risky behavior, increase in alcohol use or sexual behavior, increased anger, changes in their personality, or isolation.
One common misconception about seeking help is that no one will understand your situation or that care is simply too expensive—but with LSF health Systems, these two fears are eliminated after being connected with one of our programs.
At LSF, we fund 62 behavioral health care organizations for the uninsured or underinsured, and we have an accessible care line that you can call at any time. Once you call, we will plug you into the resources of the community you’re in.
When you notice that they’re struggling, it’s important that we reach out and get them some help. Let’s wrap our arms around our youth and give them that support that they need.