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May 06, 2019

Teens are Struggling with Mental Health Issues. Here’s How You Can Help.

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, 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 health care provider about their condition, and sadly, there is an average 10-year gap between the onset of symptoms and treatment. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a reminder that as a community we all have a role in the mental health of our family, friends, neighbors and peers. Here are four things you can do to support the young people in your life who may be suffering:  

  1. Embrace mental health challenges as real and life-altering.  
  2. Talk openly about mental illness.  
  3. Promote acceptance every single day.  
  4. Encourage them to see a mental health specialist.  

Mental illness can be debilitating and can lead to other problems like eating disorders, drug abuse and suicidal thoughts. The more we all demonstrate understanding and acceptance, the easier it will be for those who suffer to seek treatment. To learn more visit www.wechoosenps.org.