Blog

May 23, 2021

Help the Teens in Your Life Deal With COVID-19 Mental Health Issues

By Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

Mental illness affects nearly one in five adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18. Stigmas surrounding mental illness often prevent young adults from seeing a nurse practitioner or other health care provider about their condition, and sadly, there is an average 10-year gap between the onset of symptoms and treatment. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified this problem, as the significant consequences of social isolation and emotional stress during these formative years can have a lasting impact on a teen’s wellbeing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines four things that you can do to help your teen overcome the challenges of COVID-19-related mental health issues:

  • Recognize and address fear and stress.
  • Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions.
  • Help keep teens healthy and stimulated.
  • Facilitate connections and help teens stay socially connected.

As we recognize Mental Health Awareness Month this May, pay special attention to the impact COVID-19 is having on the teens in your life. If your child is exhibiting any signs of anxiety or depression, contact your health care provider — like a nurse practitioner — for help.