Teenage mental health is becoming more fraught, with more than 1 in 6 children aged 7 to 16 reported to have a “probable mental health disorder” last year. More children than ever are suffering the effects of peer pressure, bullying and hyper visibility brought on in schools, social groups and online through social media. Chase Lodge Hospital is committed to providing you with essential information and raising awareness about this issue, contributing to a healthier and happier future for our younger generations. Here are six essential facts every parent, carer, and teenager should know.
1. Mental Health Affects Physical Health
The first fact to understand is the close connection between mental and physical health. Teenagers experiencing mental health issues can also suffer from physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach aches, and tiredness. These are often dismissed as ‘growing pains,’ but they can be a sign of underlying mental health concerns. Chase Lodge Hospital believes in a holistic approach that considers both the mental and physical aspects of a teenager’s wellbeing. Healthy minds lead to healthy bodies.
2. Early Intervention is Key
Early intervention can significantly influence the course of mental health issues. It is not uncommon for teenagers to mask or hide their emotions. Noticing changes in behaviour, mood, and social interactions can be one of the most powerful steps in supporting a child towards mental wellbeing. Dr Sharon Taylor, our in-house Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, advocates for early identification and intervention, which can lead to more effective support and better long-term outcomes for children and parents.
3. Understanding is Crucial
There’s a great deal of misinformation about mental health, leading to harmful stereotypes and stigmatisation. Education is vital in busting these myths and opening channels for better communication between parent and child. The more that parents and society-at-large understands teenage mental health, the easier it will be to recognise signs and seek help when necessary.
4. Mental Health Issues are more Common than you Think
In the UK, one in six young people has a diagnosable mental health disorder. Many more struggle without diagnosis, often due to the stigma surrounding mental health or lack of awareness. Recognising that mental health problems are widespread can help teens feel less isolated and more comfortable seeking help. So many teenagers feel like their issues are not “normal” and this can exacerbate already difficult-to-manage symptoms. Reassuring your child that what they are experiencing is a common part of life can help assuage any guilt they feel and also build up trust within your relationship. As their parent, you are their first line of defence and most trusted confidante.
5. It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Many teenagers fear that asking for help shows weakness. The truth is that asking for support demonstrates immense strength, courage, and self-awareness. Mental health help can come from many different sources; Whether talking to a friend, teacher, parent, or mental health professional, seeking assistance is a crucial step towards improving teenage mental health and should be encouraged.
6. There are Different Forms of Therapy
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health. Treatments are highly individualised and can range from cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), family therapy, and psychoeducation. Our team at Chase Lodge Hospital, Dr Sharon Taylor, Dr Carolyn Webber, and Karen Millet, all have brilliant experience in child and adolescent mental health. We can offer advice on the most appropriate treatment methods and guide your child to better mental wellbeing.
Get the Support you Need
At Chase Lodge Hospital, we’re here to support teenagers and their families. Understanding these 6 facts about teenage mental health can be the first step towards better mental health for your whole family. Let’s prioritise their wellbeing and nurture their mental health as diligently as we do their physical health.
Get in touch today, and we’ll support you every step of the way.