A survey found 7 out of 10 teens are struggling with their mental health, and more than half said the pandemic has increased their feelings of loneliness.
Fifteen-year-old Julia Byrne loves playing the trumpet but her parents’ divorce and a move across the country made some much-loved activities a little less exciting.
“I just isolated myself and kept myself from doing things that I would enjoy because I thought I didn’t deserve them,” said Byrne.
Then the pandemic happened and she was forced to be even more isolated.
“Which has just been hard, and it’s contributed to me being suicidal for some time,” she said.
“This isolation is causing a lot of issues for teens,” said Ian Adair, Executive Director of Gracepoint Foundation.
- 43% of teen say they’ve experienced depression
- 45% experienced excessive stress
- 55% experienced anxiety due to the pandemic
“We have to empathize. We have to listen, actively listen to what’s going on,” said Adair.
Create a safe space where your teen can talk and don’t be afraid to ask your teen if they’re thinking about hurting themselves.
“There’s a stigma that if you talk about suicide, then that might increase the opportunity for kids to attempt suicide or think about suicide, when research says it’s the exact opposite,” said Adair.
Exercising and talking to a therapist turned things around for Julia.
Parents can take a mental health test to see if their teen might be struggling with mental health issues. You can take it here.
Share the results with your teen afterward to get the conversation started.