Mental Health and Youth Health at School

youth health mental

Young people spend a lot of time at school. And it’s important that this is a place where their mental health is supported.

Many young people experience problems with their mental health that need treatment. But finding the right care can be hard. And it can take a long time for treatments to have an impact.


Depression is the most common mental health problem in adolescents. It can cause serious problems in school, at work and in their personal relationships. It can also lead to alcohol and drug abuse, which can be very dangerous for teenagers.

It is important to know the symptoms of depression and seek treatment if you or someone you know has them. Talk therapy is an effective treatment for depression, and can help you learn to manage your symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend medicine to treat your depression.

The number of young people with a mental illness is increasing. Experts say the causes are many, including economic pressures that can affect a family’s quality of life. They also point to a lack of mental health services and social support for youth.


During this time of increased stress and anxiety, kids are especially vulnerable. While normal worries and occasional anxiety are healthy, persistent worry can be an indicator of a mental health problem.

When a teen complains of anxiety, listen to him without dismissing his feelings. Help him understand that changes in body image, concerns about performance and peer acceptance and conflicting feelings about independence are all natural parts of adolescence.

If his worries persist, talk to your doctor. Some effective treatments for anxiety include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention, and ACT (a form of CBT that incorporates mindfulness and self-acceptance). Medication may be used short-term. Recovery colleges, which are part of the NHS, also offer support and advice. Check the Service Finder to find one near you.

Bipolar Disorder

Many people first experience bipolar disorder in their teens or twenties. It can be triggered by a loss, a severe stressor, or puberty (for girls). The illness often worsens during periods of increased stress, such as after an argument or when a family member gets sick.

Symptoms may include depressive episodes, periods of mania or hypomania, or mixed episodes with both. Some people have a milder form of the disorder called cyclothymic disorder, in which symptoms are less intense and do not last as long.

Teens with bipolar disorder may act more irritable, angry or aggressive than usual, and they might not be able to sleep well. They may also have a hard time staying focused at school, work or home. A therapist can teach them ways to cope with these symptoms and how to prevent them from happening in the future.


If someone is exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia, they may need to be hospitalized. Laws on involuntary commitment for mental health treatment vary by state. It is important to talk with a trusted mental health professional before taking such action.

There is no cure for schizophrenia, but medications can control many of the symptoms. The most commonly prescribed drugs are antipsychotics, which affect the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. They often take several weeks to take effect.

Negative symptoms include a lack of pleasure or an emotional flatness, trouble communicating or connection with others and problems completing tasks, such as not bathing or cooking. They may also seem to show little interest in life or have difficulty finding employment or maintaining a home.

People with schizophrenia can improve with a combination of medication, family therapy and other support services. Coordinated specialty care (CSC) programs are recovery-focused and help reduce hospitalizations.


Suicide is a leading cause of death among youths.1 Teens who are depressed or have other mental illnesses may be at higher risk for suicide.

In addition, suicide can be triggered by stressful life events such as a breakup, a loved one’s death or bullying. Suicide rates also vary by race/ethnicity and age.

Any teen who has thoughts of suicide needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional. This can be done in an emergency room, walk-in mental health clinic or at a community mental health center. It’s important to keep an appointment even if the teen says they don’t feel well or want to cancel. This will ensure they have access to care and can help prevent suicide attempts and deaths.