Teen Mental Health: What Parents Need to Know
Learn about the importance of mental health in kids and teens and how to help support them.
This Trusted Parenting Network Article brought to you by
Keeping Kids Safer Online
Bark monitors texts, email, YouTube, and 30+ apps and social media platforms for signs of issues like cyberbullying, sexual content, online predators, depression, suicidal ideation, threats of violence, and more. With content monitoring, you can get email and text alerts when Bark detects potential issues so you can talk to your child and make sure everything is OK.
As parents, our main job is to ensure our children’s well-being, and this includes their mental health. Today, teenagers are more connected online than ever before, and understanding and addressing teen mental health issues has become even more critical.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the key aspects of teen mental health, including depression, anxiety, FOMO (fear of missing out), bullying, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. We’ll also provide recent 2023 statistics on teen suicide rates and self-harm.
Depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are common mental health challenges that many teens face. According to the CDC’s 2023 data, [Include latest statistics], these conditions’ prevalence has increased among adolescents. Parents must learn to recognize signs like persistent sadness, withdrawal, or changes in sleep and appetite. Encourage open conversations with your teen, and consider professional help if needed.
FOMO (fear of missing out)
The fear of missing out, or FOMO, can contribute to feelings of anxiety and inadequacy in teens. The constant exposure to curated online lives can intensify these feelings. Encourage your child to balance online and offline activities and discuss the importance of real-life connections.
Bullying, whether in person or online, can have severe consequences on a teen’s mental health. The CDC reports [Include statistics] on the prevalence of bullying-related mental health issues among adolescents. Keep the lines of communication open with your child, and teach them strategies to cope with bullying, such as reporting it to trusted adults.
Teen suicide rates are a concerning issue, and suicidal ideation is a significant risk factor. The latest CDC statistics [Include statistics] underscore the importance of addressing this topic. If your child expresses thoughts of self-harm or suicide, take them seriously and seek professional help immediately.
Self-harm is often a coping mechanism for emotional pain. It’s essential for parents to understand the signs and reasons behind self-harm behaviors. Create a supportive environment for your teen, and consider therapy or counseling as a means of addressing the underlying issues.
How to Support Your Child
These issues aren’t rare, unfortunately. In 2022, Bark found that:
- 7% of tweens and 64.3% of teens were involved in a self-harm/suicidal situation.
- 3% of tweens and 41.2% of teens used language or were exposed to language about anxiety.
- 2% of tweens and 83.3% of teens experienced bullying as a bully, victim, or witness.
The internet and social media play a significant role in teen mental health. While they offer connection and information, they can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. As parents, it’s crucial to:
- Monitor your child’s online activities without invading their privacy
- Educate your teen about responsible online behavior, including the impact of cyberbullying and excessive screen time.
- Encourage regular offline activities and face-to-face interactions.
In 2023, teen mental health remains a complex and pressing issue. As parents, we are responsible for staying informed, engaging in open conversations, and seeking professional help for kids when necessary.