By Alicia Clark
As COVID-19 infections decline and society returns to relative “normalcy,” another public health crisis is emerging. This time targeting the country’s young people.
The organization Mental Health America (MHA) reports that 1 in 10 young people in the U.S. experience depression that “severely impair(s) their ability to function at school or work, at home, with family, or in their social life.”
“We have seen increases in depression, anxiety, and suicidal behaviors,” said Jennifer Morris, a School Based Mental Health Specialist with AllHealth Network. “More specifically, the disruption in their lives due to COVID-19 impacted social connections, resulting in isolation, struggles with social skills and lower self-esteem.”
Even more staggering, MHA reports that of youth experiencing major depression, 59.8% do not receive any mental health treatment.
The reason for this can be attributed to several factors, says Morris. Among them, stigma, cost, transportation, and a therapist shortage are just a few of the obstacles young people face when seeking mental health care.
Worried about the mental wellbeing of a young person? “Be present with the teen. Actively listen, validate, and avoid minimizing what the young person is going through,” suggests Morris.
For serious mental health concerns, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can suggest resources for concerned individuals and for those actively experiencing a mental health crisis.
Interested in getting your child started with mental health services through AllHealth Network? Visit our website allhealthnetwork.org or call 303-730-8858 to get started with services.
AllHealth Network accepts most insurances as well as Medicaid.