Teens’ mental health issues on the rise

Teens%2CJordyn+Whitehead%2C+Jayce+Smith%2C+TJ+Grant%2C+and+Halie+Gallagher+meet+to+help+stimulate+good+mental+health.+%28Photo+by+Olivia+Del+Pinal%29

Teens,Jordyn Whitehead, Jayce Smith, TJ Grant, and Halie Gallagher meet to help stimulate good mental health. (Photo by Olivia Del Pinal)

Olivia Del Pinal, Staff Writer

COVID-19 is not the only thing currently increasing around the country. Teen’s mental health issues are also on the rise everywhere. Teenagers are known for numerous things: being reckless and moody, occasionally caring or polite, and much more. However, one feature, in particular, that does stand out are the mental health issues in teens. Teenagers in 2022 are suffering from mental illness to an extent that has rarely been seen in past generations.

Being a teenager can be exciting with the start of new milestones and challenges. However, for all the highs they have, it also comes with just as many lows. Rates of depression have soared among teenagers along with a rising anxiety rate consistently being higher than any other age group. According to Teen Mental Health, “Approximately one in five teens between the ages of twelve and eighteen suffer from at least one diagnosable mental health disorder.” 

On top of this, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has led to an increase in stress, fear, and anxiety in teens. The pandemic interrupted teenagers’ and their parent’s routines and given that interacting with their peers is central to many teenagers’ development, when Covid-19 closed down their world, their mental health suffered, too.

According to Guidance Counselor Michelle Montgomery, “Teen mental health has been affected in more ways than one. We have seen a large increase in anxiety, school avoidance behaviors, and overall students are very overwhelmed with trying to get back into the rhythm of being in school.” 

Mental health issues have impacted many FVHS students. “Covid has been really difficult on me because I haven’t been able to spend time with my friends,” said FVHS freshman Sebastian Del Pinal. “Spending time with friends has always been my way to relieve stress.” 

School systems, including Wake County, recognize that students are experiencing mental health issues and have provided resources for students and families. On the Wake County Public School System’s website, there is a section devoted to health and wellness support for students and families. 

“In addition to the many services and supports that our schools offer with the help of school counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other specialists the resources below may provide additional help to students and families to improve their health and wellness,” according to the WCPSS website. “School staff are available to assist you with connecting with these and other programs and services.” 

Not all students are suffering with mental health challenges. “Junior year has put a lot of pressure and stress on me with managing school, soccer, and preparing for college,” said FVHS junior Noah Mathew. “However, with the support from my family and friends, I’ve been able to overcome challenges, grow, and be successful.” 

While mental health issues with teenagers have increased, so has the attention being brought to these issues. As the pandemic becomes more controlled, so may teens’ mental health.