During adolescence, teens go through a variety of challenges. These include exploring their sexuality, relationship and romantic connections, and identity development.
These factors can create a stressful and overwhelming environment for teenagers. This can put them at risk of a mental health crisis.
What is a crisis?
A crisis is a turning point or a stage where something has changed in a person’s life. It can be an emotional or circumstantial change, such as a serious illness or death.
When a young person experiences a crisis, it can be difficult to know what to do or how to help them. They might be dealing with issues like bereavement, addiction, abuse, money problems, relationship breakdown or exam stress.
If your child is experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s important to call 911 or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. If you do, let the operator know it’s a mental health emergency so they can come with deescalation in mind.
What are the signs of a crisis?
When a teenager is experiencing a crisis, they may be struggling with depression or other mental health issues. They might be unable to function at school or in their relationships, and they may be considering suicide.
Signs of a crisis can be subtle and hard to spot. However, if your child is struggling with a mental health issue, it’s important to recognize them so you can help them.
In some cases, a crisis is so severe that it requires immediate action to keep your child safe. In these situations, you should call 911 (or a local crisis line) and let them know your teen is experiencing a mental health emergency.
Some of the warning signs of a crisis include avoiding friends and family, changes in sleep patterns and eating habits, irritability, and withdrawal from normal activities. These are not typical behaviors for a young person and could be a sign that they need some professional support.
What are the symptoms of a crisis?
When a youth is in crisis, they may experience changes in their usual routines. They may not feel like sleeping or eating as much or they could find it hard to focus on their schoolwork.
Depending on the circumstances, these symptoms can be very severe and indicate that something is seriously wrong with their mental health.
If a youth is having thoughts of suicide, they should call emergency services immediately. They may also have feelings of extreme guilt and sadness and need help finding a way to deal with these negative emotions.
Changes in sociability can also be an early warning sign of a mental health crisis. They may withdraw from friends and family or become less socially outgoing than before.
What are the treatment options for a crisis?
Teenagers can experience a range of behavioral challenges, some of which may lead to a crisis. These challenges include depression, anxiety, trauma and other mental health disorders that can impact a teenager’s mood and ability to function in their daily life.
When a child or youth is in a crisis, they need treatment to help them recover from their symptoms and get back on track with their life. Depending on the severity of their problem, treatment may be provided in the form of individual therapy, peer support, care coordination or medication management.
The first step in providing the best care is to accurately assess a youth and their family/caregiver(s). This can be done by conducting a thorough clinical interview, as well as self-report questionnaires or psychological tests.