10th October is celebrated as World Mental Health Day all around the world and this year’s theme is young people and their mental health in a changing world.
Being in your teen years may just be the hardest part of your life. Adulthood is a time of life when many changes occur, such as entering college, changing states for studies, or even looking for a new job. But out of all this, trying to know where you belong, what you like and where exactly you fit in can be a stressful job. It may be exciting for many but also be times of apprehension for some.
In such times, these feelings of uncertainty, facing challenges or making decisions lead to mental illness. In all this, there comes the new technology, online technology. While many reap the benefits, and some are under pressure, it keeps on adding peer pressure, looking at other’s lives on social media, the happy lifestyle put many teenagers in depression and driving them to hate their lives.
Many adolescents are also living in areas affected by humanitarian emergencies such as conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics. Young people living in situations such as these are particularly vulnerable to mental distress and illness.
All you need is understanding:
Prevention begins with being aware of and understanding the early warning signs and symptoms of mental illness. Parents and teachers can help build life skills of children and adolescents to help them cope with everyday challenges at home and at school. Psycho-social support can be provided in schools and other community settings and of course training for health workers to enable them to detect and manage mental health disorders can be put in place, improved or expanded.
Half of all mental illness begins at the age 14:
Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, but most cases go undetected and untreated. In terms of the burden of the disease among adolescents, depression is the third leading cause. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds. Harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs among adolescents is a major issue in many countries and can lead to risky behaviours such as unsafe sex or dangerous driving. Eating disorders are also of concern.
Importance of awareness:
Fortunately, there is a growing recognition of the importance of helping young people build mental resilience, from the earliest ages, in order to cope with the challenges of today’s world. The evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent health brings benefits not just to adolescents’ health, but to the society on a whole.
On Twitter, people have been tweeting about mental health and how important it is of an issue, have a look!