Many teenagers experiment with different things, but when substance use becomes a regular escape, it can be a sign of crisis. Other signs include blatant disregard for family rules, bullying behavior and verbal abuse.
Disenchanted youth in conflict or crisis zones are often lured by gangs, criminal activities and poverty to fill the void and find fulfillment. Programs can help them build meaningful lives and become contributing members of society.
A Comprehensive Mental Health Assessment
Mental health conditions can have a major impact on adolescent development. They can be triggered by a variety of factors, including exposure to adversity and peer pressure to conform.
A comprehensive mental health assessment can help us discern what’s causing your teen’s problems, diagnose what they are and recommend the most appropriate treatment options. Assessments are covered by MaineCare and most private insurance plans.
Our free mental health assessments include a psychiatric evaluation and a thorough review of your child’s history. We also provide psychoeducation and evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatments to stabilize symptoms and alleviate distress.
Youth who don’t receive adequate psychiatric care are at risk for dropping out of school, getting involved in drug and alcohol use or developing lasting mental illness that can affect them well into adulthood. Our goal is to connect your teen with the right mental health professional as quickly as possible. This is why our assessments are so important.
Getting Help Early
Youth health promotion practices have shown to have enduring beneficial effects on the development of psychosocial difficulties in later life. Multimodal prevention programs addressing child abuse, the negative consequences of parents’ divorce on children, and substance abuse have shown to be particularly effective in preventing mental health problems.
Integrated youth mental healthcare models have been shown to produce measurable improvements in the quality of life, satisfaction with services, and reduction in risky behavior in individuals with mental illness. It is important that such models be designed in a manner to enable them to deliver care within primary healthcare settings.
To do this, it is vital to increase the availability of mental health crisis support services and training in community settings, such as schools, churches, and workplaces. These programs also need to be affordable, culturally competent, and family friendly. It is also important that all young people have access to regular check-ups with a medical doctor or other health care professional who can monitor their physical and mental health and provide guidance on how to prevent mental health crises.
Taking Care of Yourself
Like the advice we are given on airplanes: put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping someone else with theirs – it is impossible to care for those around us without taking care of ourselves. The stress of caring for a child in crisis can leave us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, but it is important to practice self-care.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule, exercise and eat well. Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as drinking or using drugs. Stay socially connected with positive people. Consider seeking therapy to help cope. If you find that your thoughts are becoming harmful or you’re considering harmful behavior, talk to a member of your recovery team.
Consider attending support groups for crisis counselors to help you connect with others. Follow news sources that report the facts, and limit or avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Stay in contact with your family and friends. YCC offers training, peer support groups and debriefing sessions.
Getting Help for Your Teen
A teen’s crisis can lead to significant problems in their lives and for their loved ones. Addressing it early can prevent more serious symptoms from developing and improve the teen’s well-being in the long run. Talking to a school counselor, youth leader, or therapist can help defuse emotions and provide guidance. Getting a mental health professional involved can help your teenager understand and manage their issues, especially if they are battling depression or experimenting with dangerous drugs.
It’s normal to feel a range of emotions from guilt to regret when you realize your teen is struggling with serious emotional or behavioral problems. However, you should never let these feelings get in the way of helping them seek professional help to resolve their crisis. This will also teach them an important life lesson about knowing when it’s necessary to ask for help. Self-harm or suicidal thoughts are serious warning signs that require immediate attention. Likewise, failing grades, changes in sleeping habits, social withdrawal, unhealthy eating patterns and inappropriate anger are all cause for concern.