Mental health issues can affect anyone. The state of our mental health can affect the way we feel, think, and act. It is important in every stage and aspect of our lives. Ensuring that we are doing well mentally will help us to cope with highly stressful situations, remain productive, and make significant contributions to society.
What is mental illness?
Mental illnesses are disorders in the way our brains function. There is a wide range of things that can trigger mental health issues, from trivial things such as not getting the food a person wants to something life-changing such as joblessness or the pandemic we’re in. Simply put, it is a result of one’s genes complexly interacting with the environment.
People struggling with mental health issues should not be viewed differently from someone who’s suffering from a physical illness. People don’t get it because they want it nor do they have it because they’re weaker. Mental illness is one of life’s great equalizers. It respects no one and can affect anyone. People with mental illnesses should never be looked down upon nor judged because it can be triggered in a person regardless of gender, social status, ethnicity, and age.
Teenage Mental Health
Research and studies have found that over 45% of teenagers suffer from some sort of mental illness and disorder. It is also discovered that 1 out of 5 teens, or 20% of our teen population, are most likely to be suffering from a severe mental illness. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people between the ages of 10 to 24. The statistics are staggering and overwhelming.
A lot of experts have already given us all sorts of advice to help loved ones overcome depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, many young people continue to suffer from it. While it should be treated the same way you would a physical disease, it isn’t as easy as taking kids for their immunization shots or a quick trip to a trusted kids’ dentist. More than just teaching them about healthcare and self-love, you should be empowering them as well. There is a difference.
Empower them to take advantage of their emotional sensitivity
Teenagers tend to experience more intense emotions compared to adults. While an unpleasant circumstance can prove to be traumatic to them since they cannot fully process these things yet, they also tend to be more easily pleased and delighted.
Teenagers find it easier to enjoy and treasure the simpler things in life, which this pandemic has somewhat taught us to do. Give them a tub of ice cream or let them play video games the whole afternoon and everything’s okay.
Let them tap into their low-maintenance — for lack of a better word — happiness. The things they find joy in may be simple but it’s more than enough to bring them comfort and pleasure.
Empower them to not deny what they’re feeling
As adults, when we feel bad about something, we sometimes tend to just shrug it off and deny ourselves the benefit of feeling bad or having a good and healthy cry. Don’t deprive teens of their emotional outlets.
If a teenager you know feels sad, depressed, or is just having a bad day, tell them it’s okay to feel that way. What they’re feeling is legitimate and valid. Don’t take that away from them. Let them express their frustrations, guilt, anger, or doubt.
Allowing teens to acknowledge and not deny their feelings lets them learn how to process their emotions, how to behave appropriately despite their emotional status, and how to cope with different situations.
Empower them to seek help
When a person goes through tough times, sometimes pride gets in the way. Surely, we’ve all experienced this at least once in our lives. We keep our problems to ourselves thinking that asking for help is a sign of weakness, or we just don’t trust anyone. However, the dangers of letting your pride get the best of you can be quite costly.
As young as they are, we should empower teens to learn that asking for help, especially when you need it, is not a shameful thing to do. It is not a sign of weakness nor incompetence. Rather, it is an important factor in building the right character that will make them go far in life.
Tell them that they should not be afraid to talk to people they trust about their thoughts and feelings. Help them identify the people that they can approach should they end up in a tight spot and have nowhere else to go. ; This isn’t just about pride. It’s about their survival
Mental health issues can be overcome with guidance and empowerment. As adults, it is our duty to look after the welfare of our children. They are, after all, the ones next in line to take over the world. If we want our children to have a better world in the future, we need to make sure we have better children now.
Meta title: Practical Empowering Tips That Will Help Teens Stay Mentally Strong
Meta description: Mental health issues can seriously affect people from all walks of life, even teenagers. How do you empower them to stay mentally tough during bad times?