9 Ways That Teens Can Benefit From Mental Health Services
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Being a teenager is a very exciting time. It can also be a very confusing time, especially with mental health. Mental health challenges are incredibly common in teens. Studies show that around 50% of teens experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. That’s a staggering statistic and has been declared a national emergency by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rates of major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder are high among teens today. Currently around 32% of teens struggle with anxiety and nearly 16% of teens struggle with depression. While these statistics are concerning, it can also be a reminder that help is available and getting help early can make a significant difference. 

If your teen is facing a mental health challenge, they should consider exploring mental health services sooner rather than later. Getting help to address these challenges early can help keep symptoms from getting worse and can reduce the need for higher levels of care down the line. Looking into mental health services can be a proactive step for your teen to prioritize their well-being and get the support they deserve.

It’s important to recognize that seeking mental health services can be beneficial for everyone, not just those who have been diagnosed with mental health conditions. If your teen is dealing with a chronic condition or trying to navigate through a tough time in their life, seeking help is a sign of great strength and self-care. Therapy or counseling can help your teen learn valuable tools and coping strategies and get support to help them navigate their emotions and challenges more effectively.

Benefits of mental health services for teens

Up to 14% of 10- to 19-year-olds around the world experience a mental health issue, but the majority don’t get treated. Untreated mental health struggles or conditions can have an impact on current and future mental and physical health. Turning to a mental health professional doesn’t mean a person is weak. On the contrary, it takes a lot of courage to reach out for help.

Mental health services, including therapy, can provide teens with many benefits, including:

  • Emotional backup — Mental health professionals like therapists, counselors or psychologists can give your teen specialized support that can be tailored to their individual needs. They can offer teens a safe and nonjudgmental space where they can discuss their emotions, thoughts and concerns. 
  • Coping skills — A therapist, counselor or psychologist can help your teen learn valuable coping strategies and skills. These skills and strategies can help your teen effectively manage their stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. 
  • Coping mechanisms — Equipped with healthy coping skills and strategies, your teen can be empowered to navigate challenges more effectively. These healthy skills and strategies can help your teen replace negative coping mechanisms like substance use or avoidance behaviors. 
  • Self-esteem boost — During therapy, teens can learn more about themselves and embrace the uniqueness that makes them special inside and out. This self-esteem boost gained from engaging in mental health treatment can help empower teens to take control of their mental well-being, build resilience and develop healthy habits. Building on these by continuing to use mental health services can help teens achieve lifelong emotional wellness. 
  • Social skills — Therapy can help teens hone their communication skills. A therapy session can focus on improving their communication skills, assertiveness and interpersonal relationships. Growing these social skills can help teens effectively learn to navigate social interactions, set boundaries and develop healthier relationships with friends and family.
  • Symptom relief — Mental health services can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, trauma or other mental health disorders. Therapy can help teens experience relief from distressing symptoms. Relief of symptoms can help them have an improved overall well-being and quality of life. 
  • Academic success — Mental health services can help improve your teen’s concentration, time management skills, and confidence to pursue their aspirations. This improved mental health and these learned skills can have a positive impact on your teen’s academic performance, motivation and goal achievement. 
  • Transition guidance — Mental health services can help a person navigate the obstacles and challenges the teenage years throw their way. If your teen begins their mental health journey early, it can also equip them with stronger coping skills when they begin the transition to college or adult life. Building strong relationships with mental health professionals and learning how to navigate the mental health system before heading off to college or moving out on their own can help them feel less overwhelmed if they need to ask for help in the future. 
  • Prevention power — By getting connected with mental health services early, your teen can learn effective coping skills and develop resilience. They’ll feel equipped to address issues before the issues become elevated into problems that can affect their life in the future. 

Mental health services can be great for teens to support their emotional, social and psychological needs. With the proper support, teens can learn how to overcome the challenges of growing up and shine. The benefits of mental health services aren’t limited to just your teen. It can also have a positive impact on the whole family. When teens access mental health support early, the family can also:

  • Work together with mental health professionals to develop coping strategies
  • Work together with mental health professionals to develop a crisis prevention plan
  • Practice having open and honest communication about mental health-related challenges
  • Gain a better understanding of their teen’s mental health needs, including triggers, and how they can offer better support to their teen in the next chapter of their life
  • Reduce stigma and shame that can surround mental health conditions and accessing mental health services 

Signs teens are struggling with their mental health

How can you tell if your teen is struggling with their mental health and needs a little extra support? Keep an eye open for signs like:

  • Depression or anxiety that doesn’t go away or gets worse
  • Substance use
  • Risky or destructive behavior
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Poor school performance
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Difficulty socializing in person
  • Obsession with physical appearance
  • Self-harm behaviors
  • Talk or thoughts of killing themselves

Common mental health conditions in teens

Mental health conditions can affect a person’s quality of life and their ability to participate in activities of daily living. Common mental health conditions in teens include:

The teenage years can be full of challenges, including struggles with mental health. Mental health services, like therapy, can offer a lifeline to your teen. Reaching out early for help can make a world of difference. It’s a proactive step for them to learn how to prioritize their well-being and how to make sure they get the support and care they need and deserve. The benefits of mental health services can equip your teen for many challenges and help your family grow together. Taking a proactive approach to mental health can help you and your teen navigate the complexities of the teenage years and transitions with empathy, understanding and support. 

Lightfully Teen is here to support teens’ mental health

The teenage years are a whirlwind of changes, challenges and victories. At Lightfully Teen, we recognize the benefits of seeking therapy for a little extra support, in addition to during tough times. Our mission is to provide high-quality and personalized mental health care. 

At Lightfully, we have pioneered the use of process-based therapy (PBT). This approach allows us to use the best parts of evidence-based therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Integrating these parts of various interventions allows a therapist to provide whole-person-centered care that is specifically designed for each client. PBT can help teens learn to cope with everyday stressors or work to overcome anxiety symptoms and thrive. 

Change is possible. When they’re ready to take the first step, reach out to us

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