Youth Mental Health Crisis

youth health mental

In a global youth mental health crisis, traditional models of care are failing to meet the demand. Depression, anxiety and other disorders are among the leading causes of illness and disability in children and young people.

As youth health becomes a priority, approaches to behavioral health are transforming. These include providing services outside of traditional healthcare settings, focusing on discrete populations and using digital technologies.


Stress is an emotion and physical response to a threat that causes a change in your brain and body. It’s a normal reaction to life’s challenges, and it helps you react quickly and get out of danger or danger’s way.

Teenagers often experience stress due to the many changes that occur during adolescence. Things like bullying, social issues and problems at home can cause stress for adolescents.

Research has shown that adolescence is associated with shifts in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, resulting in heightened stress-induced hormonal responses. These changes in HPA axis reactivity may be one of the primary factors that contribute to the mental health problems that frequently affect teens during adolescence.


Depression is a common mental illness that can affect young people of all ages. It is often a long-term problem and needs to be treated.

Teens can feel depressed when they are struggling with exams, changes to their life, or other life events that have a negative impact on their mood.

Depression can have a big impact on a young person’s schoolwork, social life, and their overall well-being. It can also be a trigger for suicide, so it’s important to talk to your child about it as soon as you think they are suffering from it.


Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health challenge among adolescents, yet they are often undertreated. Untreated anxiety can lead to depression, substance misuse and suicide.

Anxious feelings are normal, but if worries and fears become constant and interfere with daily life they may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Children and teens with anxiety are more likely to have problems in school, family relationships, and friendships. It can also interfere with their physical health and make them feel socially isolated.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a common childhood disorder characterized by inattention and hyperactivity. It is often accompanied by impulsivity and can interfere with social relationships, schoolwork, occupational functioning, family life and physical health.

Children with ADHD are more likely than their peers to have other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, tic disorders or Tourette syndrome, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and substance abuse. When these conditions co-exist with ADHD, the impact on a child’s mental health can be even more serious.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are complex illnesses that can affect people of all ages, but they tend to be more common among teens. They can be serious and affect physical and emotional health if left untreated.

A teen with an eating disorder might purposely restrict food intake or binge eat after eating certain foods or avoid public eating situations in fear of being judged. They may also have distorted body image that keeps them engaged in this unhealthy behavior.

Treatment for eating disorders typically involves a combination of medical care, mental health counseling and nutritional support. These can be in the form of individual, group or family therapy.


Adolescents who use drugs or alcohol are at increased risk for mental health problems like depression, conduct problems, personality disorders and suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Despite the decline in alcohol and drug abuse in recent years, some teens still struggle with substance use issues. This is called a co-occurring disorder, and treatment can help.

Adolescents who have mental health concerns and a substance use problem need help to cope with these issues. Treatment can teach them healthy coping skills to help them feel better and live a happier, healthier life.


One person dies by suicide about every 11 minutes in the U.S.

Suicide is the intentional act of killing oneself with no intention of regaining consciousness. It can be an impulsive act and is usually related to feelings of hopelessness, loss, or isolation.

Youths who suffer from mood disorders, eating disorders and other psychiatric conditions are more likely to commit suicide than their peers. In addition, substance abuse is a factor in around 1 in 3 suicides.

In the United States, depression and anxiety are among the leading causes of suicide in youths. This is the reason why health care professionals should consider a mental health screening for all adolescents and children.