Mental Health Issues in Teens

Credit: Flickr User “The People Speak!” (

Kevin Han

Mental health issues have always been a problem in society, and as time passes, many more teens are facing these conditions that can affect them negatively. There are many ways that mental health issues and disorders affect teens, including at school, home, and in their community.

Types of Mental Health Issues

Some mental health issues that are present in many high schoolers include: ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and others. Students that suffer from these conditions face significant barriers to learning and interacting with others.

Effects of Mental Disorders

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 1 in 3 high schoolers experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness in 2019, which was a 40 percent increase since 2009. The article also mentions that poor mental health in adolescence can impact many areas of a teen’s life such as struggling with schools and grades, decision making, and their health/wellbeing. An article from the Association for Children’s Mental Health,  mentioned that 1 in 5 children and youth have a diagnosable emotional, behavioral or mental health disorder, and 1 in 10 young people have a mental health challenge that is severe enough to affect how they interact with others

Mental health issues don’t only affect one’s mental state. It can also interfere with their physical wellbeing. If someone isn’t able to cope with their mental issues, they can suffer from poor health illnesses. Another problem that these issues bring up is suicide. As reported by National Association of Secondary School Principals, death by suicide is the third leading cause of death in children ages 10–14 and the second leading cause of death in children ages 15–19. Close to one in five high school students have considered suicide, and 2 to 6 percent of children attempt suicide.

Problems that Occur in Society

Even though there are many programs available to the public that help cope with these types of concerns, most do not reach out. Although mental illness affects so many kids/teens aged 6-17, at least 50% to as many as 80% of them do not reach out for help. This is due to the fact that even when people need help, and ask for help on social media and other platforms, people just ignore it or it gets shut down by other people. It becomes harder to talk to trusted adults because it’s like pouring out their deepest fears and secrets to them.

What Can People Do to Help?

As stated in an article by the CDC, there are many roles that people can do to support students that suffer from mental health issues. Schools can create safe and supportive environments–whether in person or virtually. At home, parents can spend time with their children and enjoy shared activities. They can also communicate regularly with teachers and administrators to know what is going on at school. An anonymous student at CVHS stated that “Mental health is an issue we face today, not only with adults, but even with high schoolers and middle schoolers. Because of that, I really appreciate ROAR in school because it brings the students and teachers together, and other types of programs that help deal and cope with mental health issues/illnesses.”