Mental Health in Adolescents

youth health mental

Adolescents are increasingly suffering from depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. These problems can lead to a loss of quality life and impose a major societal burden.

Many adolescents are seeking help. Yet, they face barriers to accessing services and support. This is due to their living conditions and social context factors.

Social isolation

Social isolation is a feeling of loneliness and emptiness when your number and frequency of interactions with other people do not match your expectations. It can be triggered by many factors, including mental health problems, life circumstances, and lack of self-confidence. You can work on overcoming social isolation by speaking with a therapist, who can help you identify your negative thoughts and reshape them into more positive ones.

Studies show that isolation can increase your risk of premature death to a level similar to cigarette smoking. In addition, isolation can lead to depression, anxiety, and an increased risk of suicide. If you or someone you know is suffering from isolation, Charlie Health can help. Our intensive outpatient treatment program can provide the care you need in a safe environment.


Bullying can have serious effects on mental health and social interactions, both in the short term and the long term. It can cause feelings of sadness and loneliness, sleep problems and a lack of appetite. It can also affect academic achievement and school participation. It can even lead to suicide in extreme cases.

Prospective longitudinal studies have shown that involvement in bullying during adolescence increases the risk of mental health problems later in life. This is true for being bullied, as well as for being a bully or aggressive toward others.

It is important to talk to kids who may be suffering from bullying. Tell them to talk to a trusted adult or someone who can help them. This may include parents, teachers, counselors or playground safeties.


Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness and unease. It can affect your thoughts, mood and behaviour, but it is not the same as fear. Feeling anxious can cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches and muscle tightness.

Teenagers often experience anxiety as they are going through a period of change and growth. They may be concerned about their changing body, their social life and decisions they are making. Feeling anxious can also be a normal response to stressful situations but if it continues for a long time and affects their daily functioning then a health professional should be consulted.

During the interview, the doctor will take into account the severity of the symptoms and how they impact their day to day life. They will ask the teenager to describe their symptoms and how they have affected their school life.


Depression is a serious mood disorder and can lead to poor performance at school, social isolation and absenteeism. It can also contribute to poor physical health and feelings of worthlessness, guilt and hopelessness. It has been shown to increase suicide risk, and is one of the leading causes of death among youth.

Depression is not something that a young person can simply “snap out of.” It requires treatment, including psychotherapy and possibly medication. If you have concerns about a teen, talk to their doctor or to the health care provider at their school or community mental health clinic. They may be able to discuss your concerns with the teen, recommend a psychotherapist or prescribe medication. Teens over the age of 16 have the right to consent for their own treatment, but those under this age can be helped by caregivers (usually parents or Oranga Tamariki when children are in care). They can be assisted with accessing services and attending appointments.


Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for youth ages 10 to 24. It can be caused by many factors, including depression and other mental health conditions, social isolation, bullying and access to lethal means like firearms and pills.

People who die by suicide often try to escape intolerable, intense emotions or situations. They might feel unwanted, unloved or guilty, or like they are a burden to others. They may also have a lot of negative thoughts or worries about the future.

Kids can be at risk for suicide if they’re bullied or have a history of trauma, or if they live with family members who are homeless or in prison. They might also have difficulty coping with the death of a loved one or be separated from their families by illness, military service, adoption, incarceration or divorce.