Many teenage students, especially girls and LGBTQ students, are experiencing a mental health crisis. According to CDC data from 2021, many young people are experiencing depressive symptoms and violence, sexual harassment, and bullying that have exacerbated the crisis.
On the Johns Hopkins University podcast Public Health On Call, Episode 581 – The Kids are Not Alright has public health experts discussing the mental health crisis prevalent amongst the younger generations and ways adults, particularly parents and teachers, can help teenagers improve their mental health and well-being.
Youth development programs, including summer camps, can help engage students and get them into their communities to interact with others and even peers their own age. This will allow children and adolescents to develop a sense of connection, and feel that they are supported and cared for.
Parents can also watch out for signs and symptoms in their children that may give an indication that something is not going well. This may include changes in behavior, eating patterns, and sleeping patterns. It is highly advisable for parents to protect their children since parents’ monitoring can have a long-term impact on children’s health and well-being. Thus, parents can check in with their children by having conversations about how they are feeling. Having these conversations as early as possible can help parents become familiar with their children’s way of describing their emotions and interests. Children will also become comfortable with speaking to parents and are more likely to be open to conversations later on when they are a teenager.
Listen to the full podcast episode here on Spotify and access the transcript below:JHU Podcast - The Kids Are Not Alright