Mental health & Youth Development: Why Youth Should Understand Mental Health
How is Mental Health & Youth Development Related?
There is an interrelation between Mental Health & Youth development. One may not realize it, but mental health plays a significant role in youth development. When a person’s mental well-being is good, they will develop a healthy coping mechanism in stressful times. When they are mentally secure and strong, they will make informed decisions and function successfully in their lives.
Due to the rise in COVID cases worldwide, there is an increase in the overall cases of mental health illnesses. Many youngsters have to live with their families, which can be difficult when the parents show signs of toxicity or cannot empathize with their children when required. Underlying childhood trauma can emerge and cause emotional disturbance in youngsters too. The list is endless regarding how mental health affects youth development; whether during the pandemic or before. Thus, young adults need to understand different aspects of mental health & youth development.
Adolescence is an age full of different life-altering changes. The physical, emotional, and social changes are the significant factors affecting their lives at this stage of development. The upheaval in their lives can be difficult for anyone to understand, including teenagers. Even when they move to the young adult phase of their life, they still contemplate their life decisions, such as the career path, their love life, or any other factor that will impact their future. This can also cause stress to the individual. It is crucial for youth to understand themselves and work towards their welfare, mental health well-being.
What are the Factors Determining Youth’s Mental Health?
A variety of things influences mental health. The more traumatic situations youngsters face, the more their mental state may suffer. Exposure to overburdening hardship, societal pressure, and identity struggles are all factors that contribute to stress throughout various stages of development. Their family’s ability to provide a healthy lifestyle and interactions with like-minded peers are also crucial influences. Abuse (particularly sexual abuse and bullying), childhood trauma, and severe economic issues are all known threats to one’s mental health. Also, the living situation of a person is critical. A child living in an orphanage gets a very different environment than a child living with a family. The treatment in an orphanage impacts their mental health; it can be either positive or negative, depending on the facilities provided to the child in an institution.
Children who are disadvantaged or are disabled in any way are more likely to suffer from mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety. Being an LGBTQ youth is also one factor that risks the individual’s mental health & youth development. Familial disputes, social rejections, and not getting accepted by peers or family members can be stressful for youths who identify as LGBTQ. According to the Journal of Homosexuality on “suicide, mental health & youth development,” “virtually every study that compares LGBT to exclusively heterosexual and cisgender individuals finds higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicidal behaviours.” Therefore, it is paramount for individuals of the LGBTQ community to be surrounded by supportive and nourishing individuals.
People often ignore mental health issues when it is mild and tolerable. But when the severity increase, it is difficult to tackle it. This is why everyone needs to take precautions, be kind and sensitive to others in such times. Despite the advances in intervention programs and treatment accessibility, people still suffer without knowing the causes.
What is the significance of Mental Health & Youth development?
As we know, youth is the future of a nation. Youth’s role in a nation’s economic development is something that everyone looks forward to. Addressing individuals’ complicated social, mental health, and well-being requirements are critical to their long-term progress. Children exposed to adversity or psychological stress early in life may face mental health issues in later life. A young and healthy mind can bring success and development to society. In contrast, a person who has a mental health issue faces difficulty contributing to the community.
When youngsters are aware of mental health issues, they can seek help and talk to their mentors about their difficulties. They can help adults recognize early symptoms of distress and get the appropriate treatment for themselves or the family member who is facing mental health problems. Mental health is still a taboo in some societies, and youth can help to break this chain of thought. By educating themselves and investing in their mental health and psychological growth they can help bring changes. Youth’s mental health is just as vital as their physical well-being if they wish to become self-sufficient and confident. A person’s mental health is an essential element in optimal adolescent development because it assists them in developing valuable interpersonal, emotional, intellectual, and communicative skills and abilities. It also builds the groundwork for future mental health and well-being.
How Common are Mental Health Problems in Young People?
- One in every seven 10 to 19 year-olds worldwide has a mental health illness, comprising 13% of the worldwide illness load in this age range.
- Depression, anxiety, and behavioural problems are among teenagers’ most common mental health issues.
- Suicide is the 4th highest reason for death among those aged between the age of15 to 19.
- When a person fails to acknowledge youth’s mental health issues, it leads to long-term implications, affecting both physiological and emotional variables restricting the possibilities to live satisfying lives as grown-ups.
How Can You Help The Struggling Youth?
Parents and caregivers can first start with expressing empathy. As mentioned earlier, adolescence is a period full of changes; this experience can be challenging for some individuals. To help these adolescents during the challenging period of their lives, empathizing with their problems and mental health concerns is essential. It will help both the family members and adolescents deal with their mental health issues. And to concentrate on understanding how this developmental period affects their psychological well-being, parents or caregivers can read authentic research articles, consult a psychologist or talk to their ward.
There are internet sources that give information regarding various mental health issues. Young adults seeking information and details can be directed to these internet tools. Some outreach programs, peer networks, hotlines, healthcare professionals, and youth-serving experts can provide the individuals with such resources.
If you know someone struggling with mental health, reach out to them and inform them about the various resources. Tell them that there are psychologists taking pro bono cases or charging minimal fees. Taking a few sessions with a professional might encourage them to undergo treatment.
There is a stigma attached to mental health illness and seeking treatment. Family and friends can take the first step to understand that mental health issues are equivalent to physical ailments. It will help the person to feel supported, and they might seek out the help required.