Youth are the most vulnerable group of people to mental health crises. They are more likely to be depressed, have suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and experience trauma.
The COVID-19 crisis has worsened these situations for many young people. They have been left feeling isolated and have missed out on crucial developmental milestones.
If your teen is struggling, there are a number of resources available. These include mental health services, crisis lines and support groups for families and teens.
A mental health assessment is one of the best ways to ensure your child is getting the help they need. This assessment will help determine the root cause of their crisis and offer treatment recommendations that are tailored to their specific needs and concerns.
When a teenager has a mental health crisis, it is important to get them the help they need as soon as possible. This may include contacting their primary care physician or psychiatrist.
If you don’t know where to start, ask your teen’s therapist or treatment team for guidance. They can help you understand the situation and give you referrals to crisis services, hospitals or other locations in your area. They will be able to help your teen get the help they need sooner than you might think.
Comprehensive Mental Health Assessments
If your teen is experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s critical that they receive the right kind of care. This can help them get their emotions under control and regain the skills they need to cope.
A comprehensive mental health assessment is a way for your doctor or therapist to better understand your child’s symptoms, behaviors, and concerns. It can also provide a framework for treatment.
This can help you create a personalized plan of care and set goals for your child’s recovery.
Whether your teen is in a psychiatric hospital, an outpatient program, or a residential treatment center, having a full range of services available will ensure that they are getting the help they need to manage their crisis and thrive.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a new national strategy to address the growing youth mental health crisis. This includes establishing partnerships to strengthen the continuum of care and promoting education and awareness about alternative community resources.
Engaging the Family/Caregiver(s)
According to the 2004 national survey of young caregivers, about 1.3 to 1.4 million children ages 8-12 are caregiving for parents, grandparents, siblings, or other family members. These youth may provide as little as an hour a day or more than 40 hours per week.
In addition, demographic changes and Adverse Childhood Experiences are leading to a growing reliance on younger caregiving youth (Schulz & Eden, 2016). This is especially true among families that are experiencing rapid aging and life-expectancy.
As part of their engagement with youth and families, youth crisis systems should be able to work with their families and caregivers in developing and implementing a discharge plan. This process should include clear next steps for maintaining safety and individualized resources.
Stabilization is a key component of a youth’s long-term treatment and recovery plan. While some youth may need to be hospitalized for a longer period of time, others may be able to receive treatment in a more secure setting such as an in-home stabilization program.
The goal of crisis stabilization is to keep the youth in their home, community or another agreed-upon placement while they recover and build a strong foundation for their future. This means addressing the root causes of their distress, helping them to maintain their independence, and supporting their families as they work through issues that affect their daily lives.
Achieving greater effectiveness requires establishing clear lines of authority between and within U.S. Government departments and agencies engaged in stabilization missions to improve coordination, reduce duplication of efforts, and enable accountability. The Department of State is the overall lead agency for stabilization missions; USAID is designated as the lead implementer of non-security stabilization assistance and the DoD plays a supportive role, including providing requisite security.