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Prioritizing treatment of mental health issues in teens essential

Prioritizing treatment of mental health issues in teens essential

03 October | 0 Comments | By Rachael

The first signs of mental illnesses mostly occur during childhood or the adolescence but in most cases, the actual diagnosis and treatment happens much later in life. The National Alliance on Mental illness (NAMI), estimates that one in five teens and young adults in America suffer from poor mental health. Half of them develop the disorder by the age of 14 and three-quarters by 24.  This is a very confusing period in an individual’s life leaving him or her with a sense of vulnerability, often putting the blame to external circumstances or on themselves, or those close to them. It is also a risky period as untreated mental disorders may lead to substance abuse and suicidal tendencies.

NAMI states that 20 percent of youth aged between 13 and 18 years live with a mental health condition – 11 percent are suffering from mood disorder, 8 percent with anxiety and 10 percent have a behavioral disorder. Unfortunately, suicide is the third leading cause of mortality among those aged 10-24. Such statistics clearly denote the seriousness of teen mental health issues and the importance of availability of effective treatment programs to reduce the prevalence and related risks.

Dialectical behavioural therapy targets 4 key areas

Most of the youths in the United States who need treatment for mental health disorders are unable to access it due to lack of knowledge and awareness, unavailability of mental health care facilities and stigma attached to seeking help for mental health. Family members and particularly parents of an individual play a critical role in seeking professional to get timely treatment for their child.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has compiled a list of common questions about the diagnosis and treatment options for such illnesses, with questions ranging from steps to take when a child exhibits mental, behavioral, or emotional symptoms, seriousness of the problem, treatment programs comprising therapies and medication and other details. Cognitive behavioural therapy is most successful with children and is effective for a wide number of conditions.

Another ‘miracle program’ is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that has been used to treat teens suffering from severe depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders and self-harming tendencies. It’s called dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT). It is based on the approach that individuals have ineffective ways of regulating emotional and cognitive experiences, and have difficulty in sailing through interpersonal relationships. In the U.S., community-based mental health service providers are increasingly recognizing the effectiveness of the therapy. Even the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health organizes training on DBT, stressing on four skill areas – mindfulness, emotional regulation, interpersonal effectiveness and distress tolerance.

Mental health is as important as physical health

With the stress levels rising day-by-day, mental health of thousands of individuals is deteriorating. A misdiagnosed and an untreated mental disorder can greatly impact the overall growth and development of children as well as adults. It can take over their ability to participate in school as well as other social gatherings and can leave long-lasting scars. It is important to provide support at the right time to put an end to their suffering and make their lives better.

If you know someone in need of psychiatric help, the Arizona Mental Health Helpline is a vital resource that can provide the much-needed assistance. Call our 24/7 helpline (866) 606-7791 to know details about the best mental health treatment centers in Arizona. You can chat with an expert to know more about mental health disorder treatment centers in Arizona.