Tags: Coronavirus | Anxiety | Depression | teens | young adults | pandemic | mental health

How to Support Your Teen's Mental Health During the Pandemic

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By    |   Thursday, 08 October 2020 01:14 PM

Calls to Teen Lifeline normally drop between 30% and 40% during the summer, when teenagers are normally less stressed. However, this year the crisis hotline received a 6% higher volume of calls, triggered by the pandemic. It also received a higher number of texts, as homebound teens preferred a more private method of getting help than making a phone call.

According to CNN, this increase reflects a growing trend of depression and anxiety among teens who may have already been predisposed to mental and emotional issues. According to a 2019 study, 16% of youth suffer from a mental health disorder.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently polled younger adults and found that the incidence of suicidal thoughts has increased since the pandemic. A Canadian study showed that substance abuse in that age group is also in the rise.

Experts say that if your teen is struggling, there are ways to offer support, according to CNN.

  • Listen and follow their lead. Psychologist Lisa Damour says that listening is the first step in establishing where their frustrations lie. Damour says teens often just want adults to “hear them out.”
  • Teach resilience. Help your children recognize which areas in their lives they can control and which are out of their control, says Mary Alvord, a psychologist from Rockville, Maryland, according to CNN. Encourage them to take positive steps in protecting themselves against the virus and make sure they get adequate sleep, exercise, and healthy food.
  • Look for signs that they may need help. Damour says that the occasional mood swing may not mean your teenager needs professional help, but if he or she doesn’t bounce back within an appropriate period, you may want to consider therapy.
  • Understand their frustration. According to the Child Mind Institute, bonding with their peers is an essential part of the development of teenagers and young adults. Validate their feelings and work with them to plan ways they can safely socialize. For many teens the most painful part of the coronavirus crisis has been the loss of important experiences in their lives, such as high school proms, sports, and graduations. Give them room to share their feelings without judgment, says Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the Institute.

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Calls to Teen Lifeline normally drop between 30% and 40% during the summer, when teenagers are normally less stressed. However, this year the crisis hotline received a 6% higher volume of calls, triggered by the pandemic. It also received a higher number of texts, as...
teens, young adults, pandemic, mental health
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2020-14-08
Thursday, 08 October 2020 01:14 PM
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