Adolescent mental health statistics

The CDC defines mental health disorders among adolescents as, “serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave, or handle their emotions, causing distress and problems getting through the day.”

Half of all mental conditions start by the age of fourteen. ADHD, anxiety, behavior problems, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders in adolescents. 

mental health conversation dos and dont’s: 

 

Do

Don’t

Listen- actively pay attention to what the other person is saying without interjecting. Ask open questions to allow the individual to be able to fully express what they are feeling. If you need clarity, ask. 

Dismiss- While comments like, “It’ll all work out in the end” and “Just take a breather” are said and meant with good intentions; it often invalidates a person’s feelings and experiences. Recovering from mental illness takes time and effort. Avoid being judgmental. 

Let them know that you hear what they are saying- If you’ve experienced something similar, this is a great time to let them know that they are not alone in their struggle. Keep the focus on their needs and struggles. Normalizing mental health will continue to reduce stigmas surrounding getting and receiving help

Let your emotions take over- Hearing someone communicate about their struggles around mental health can be hard and overwhelming. Watching your words and body language is important. Negativity can cause more problems for the individual and push them from reaching out for help again. 

Offer support- Mental health conversations aren’t solved from one talk. Making yourself available and a safe person to talk to can open up additional lines of communication when they are needed. 

Take it personally- Guilt and blame are common emotions to feel; however it’s important to remember it’s not your fault. You can be a part of the solution. 

 


suicide prevention

Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. From 1999 to 2019, suicide rates increased by 33%. 

protective factors: 

  • Supportive relationships with caregivers/parents/guardians/friends
  • Problem solving and coping skills
  • Mental and physical health care availability/resources
  • Cultural and religious beliefs 
  • Self-esteem and sense of belonging
  • School safety and academic achievement
  • Safe environments
  • Access and awareness to mental health services

warning signs: 

  • Sense of hopelessness for the future
  • Engaging in risky behavior
  • Self harm
  • Frequently talking about death
  • Withdrawing from favorite activities
  • Changes in mood and behavior
  • Substance misuse

Watch Moving Forward to learn more about how increasing what protects people from violence and reducing what puts people at risk for it benefits everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bullying prevention

types of Bullying

    • Physical bullying can cause short term and long term damage. It involves hurting a person’s body and possessions. Physical bullying includes:
      • Spitting
      • Making offensive hand gestures
      • Slapping/Punching/Kicking
      • Taking someone’s possessions without permission
      • Breaking someone’s personal property
      • Pushing/Tripping
    • Verbal bullying often starts off as harmless and continues to escalate. It includes:
      • Homophobic/racist remarks
      • Harassment
      • Teasing/insults 
      • Intimidation
      • Name calling
      • Writing mean things
    • Social bullying can be hard to recognize. It often occurs behind the individuals back to cause humiliation and harm their reputation/ relationships. Social bullying includes:
      • Mimicking
      • Damaging a person’s social acceptance/reputation
      • Negative facial/physical gestures
      • Making nasty jokes to embarrass someone
      • Social exclusion
      • Spreading rumors 
    • Cyber bullying is the repetitive and intentional harm delivered through electronic devices. It includes:
      • sending/posting/sharing mean and harmful content about someone
      • Sharing personal information to cause embarrassment
      • Intimidation
      • Purposely excluding someone
      • Impersonating someone 
      • Spreading rumors/gossip

 
 

 

 

 

 

Signs a Child Is Being Bullied

Recognizing the early warning signs of a child being bullied is an important step in taking action. Not all children will feel comfortable asking for help.  

  • Changes in eating habits
  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Destroyed or lost personal items
  • Self destructive behaviors like running away from home or talking about harming themselves
  • Suddenly wanting to avoid social interactions
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Not wanting to go to school, declining grades, and loss of interest in schoolwork
  • Frequent feeling sick or faking an illness

If you know someone in serious distress or danger, don’t ignore the problem. Get help right away.

Signs a Child is Bullying Others

  • Doesn’t accept responsibility for their own actions
  • Gets into physical and verbal fights often
  • Blames others for their problems
  • Increasingly aggressive
  • Their friends bully others
  • Competitive and worries about their reputation often
  • Unexplained new items or money
  • Gets sent to the principal’s office often or detention

being an upstander

When bullying happens, bystanders are present 80% of the time. When bystanders intervene, they become upstanders. Upstanders have the power to completely change the situation. Bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time when upstanders intervene. Being an upstander takes:

  • Assertiveness- Tell a friend how their bullying behavior makes you feel and how it affects others by using your voice. 
  • Courage- Standing up to a friend who is bullying others can be hard. They may get mad at you, but at least you don’t let the bullying behavior continue. In the end, you are doing your friend a huge favor.
  • Leadership- Upstanders are leaders in their social groups. They help others be supportive and recognize ways to get along with their peers.
  • Action- Doing something that does not support bullying can be a really small intervention that yields big results! Two words – “That’s bullying” – can open others eyes to recognize the problem.
  • Compassion- Upstanders have the gift of compassion. They can recognize when someone is hurting and take the steps to help them.

sexual risk avoidance 

what is consent? 

  • Permission for something to happen or an agreement to do something

Peer pressure is likely to occur in your lifetime, so it is important to set clear boundaries for yourself. Respecting yourself and others will help form these crucial boundaries and healthy relationships. When it comes to sexual relationships, you have the right to decide whether you want to participate or not. Remember consent is needed with both partners and if at any point you are not comfortable it is still okay to SAY NO. 

 

healthy relationships have…

  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Compromise
  • Good Communication
  • Understanding

 

 

UNhealthy relationships have…

  • Fear
  • Hostility
  • Violence
  • Control
  • Dependence 
  • Humiliation

 

 

 

Abstinence is the only 100% way of preventing unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases or infections

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

abstinence

Does it seem like everyone around you is having sex, but you? Did you know more than half of high schools students in America have not had sex?

Abstinence is the only way to 100% avoid catching sexually transmitted disesases like HIV and having an unplanned pregnancy. Abstaining from sex in your teens means keeping control of your body and life. Saying “no” now can keep your relationship, body, and mind healthy. 

Abstinence is the simplest form of birth control. If two people don’t have intercourse, there is no way for a sperm to fertilize an egg. A person who is actively having sex can choose to become abstinent to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Choosing abstinence is an important decision and it’s yours to make.

sticking with your limits 

What should you do if your partner wants to have a sexual relationship and you don’t? Saying no to someone you are dating can be tough. It is important to stick with your limits and honor your feelings. Use these tips to help:

    • Get clear with yourself: why do you want to wait? Is it because you’re waiting for marriage, a religious belief, want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, protection against sexually transmitted infections? When you are clear on your reasoning, it makes it easier to stick to your limits and discuss it with your partner. 
    • Talk early: having the conversation can be tough, but it’s better to talk early to set what expectations you have for your relationship and where you stand. Remember, you can always withdraw consent.
    • Listen to your partner’s feelings: reassure them that your decision is about respecting your needs, not rejecting theirs. Your partner may understand and support your decisions, but feel insecure or hurt. 
  • Show affection in other ways: you can be close in other ways. Choosing to refrain from intercourse does not mean you do not care, love, or respect the other person. A healthy relationship is based on trust, communication, and emotional closeness which can be presented through mutual respect, time, effort, and friendship. 
  • Avoid temptation: it is okay to have sexual feelings for your partner without choosing to act on them. Avoid situations that make it harder to say no. Alcohol and drugs can affect your decision making. 

Remember, it is always okay to say no. Your partner may not share the same reasons, however they should respect you and your decision. You have the right to say no under any circumstance. Saying no is about respecting yourself and your limits. 

 

Teen Sexual Health Fact Sheet Somerset 4.16.2020

 

talking points for parents 

Have that conversation about Sex

Talking to your Teen About Sex


additional resources 


For more information call 443.523.1700




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