We live in a time where children and teens are facing a variety of personal, familial, social and societal pressures that have resulted in an increase of mental health challenges and suicide rates. Following are a few mental health statistics:
- 26.9% of teens ages 12-17 have one or more mental, emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems (NSCH, 2019).
- 36.7% of high school students reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness in the past year. This percentage is higher for females (46.6%), Hispanic students (40.0%), and lesbian, gay or bisexual students (66.3%) (CDC, 2020).
- 18.8% of high school students reported having seriously considered suicide in the past year. This percentage is higher among females (24.1%), and lesbian, gay, or bisexual teens (46.8%) (CDC, 2020).
- 8.9% of high school students attempted suicide in the past year. This percentage is highest among females (11.0%), black teens (11.8%), and lesbian, gay, or bisexual teens (23.4%) (CDC, 2020).
These children can feel alone, isolated, and hopeless, and parents often times do not know how or have the resources to best support their child. It can be a difficult path to walk, but getting children and teens the help needed and ensuring they do not have access to guns and other items that can make an impulsive decision to take one’s life easier are vitally important to saving lives and helping them take a pause so they can discover tomorrow.
Resources to help children and teens who are struggling with their mental health include:
- Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
- The Youth Mental Health Project
- The National Institute for Mental Health
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline
- National Alliance in Mental Illness
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline
- The Jed Foundation