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Why is it important to address adolescent mental health?

Why is it important to address adolescent mental health?

The passage through adolescence marks a path where the experiences gained in childhood are transformed for body and mind to prepare for the dynamics of adulthood. Although it seems like a fleeting time, the changes make it a season full of revelations and challenges.

From an intellectual point of view, during adolescence people are more aware of things that are changing on a social, physical, family and personal level. Consequently, explains clinical psychologist Manuela Méndez levels of spiritual development mutate and shape the adult character.

Among the changes that occurred at that time, it should also be mentioned how sometimes abuse, violence and exposure to poverty can take place in young people’s lives. According to World Health Organization (WHO), these factors They tend to do more damage to their mental health.

Besides that account they underline social pressure or expectations what young people should do as adults.

“Teenagers are at a time of important decisions. they can feel sensitive, sometimes forced to decide, and also misunderstood for what they want“, explains the clinical psychologist Inés Zepeda with reference to the sum of emotional risk.

Inés emphasizes that emotional validationjust like him specialized mental health support They are essential for teenagers, as there are situations that often they could not face alone.

If emotional and psychological support is not taken into account, a disconnection and isolation. Manuela Méndez points out that in the absence of enough information on this topic, teenagers and young people could end up silencing their emotional state to avoid being ridiculed or judged.

“(As a result) by not finding a safe space to express their thoughts, situations or feelings that significantly affect them, young people may have problems with their behavior, interpersonal relationships, academic life, family relationships and personal development“, adds the psychologist.

Apart from this usual scenario, one must take into account the appearance of mental disorders. The World Health Organization says that these old encounters with teenagers come to the fore in one in seven at some point between the ages of 10 and 19.

Among the main mental illnesses in this group are lto depression, anxiety and behavioral disorders. This scenario gives a big warning as depression can lead suicide, it is the fourth leading cause of death for young people aged 15 to 19.

These figures have led to awareness around the world and hence initiatives such as World Suicide Prevention Day, celebrated annually on September 10and is organized by the International Association for Suicide Prevention, with the support of the WHO.

Risk factors for both suicide and mental disorders are diverse and therefore It requires increased specialized care, especially one that begins with adults responsible for adolescents and is expanded by mental health professionals.

Psychologist Manuela Méndez emphasizes that in order to keep this part of her youth, “it is necessary do not create a stereotype for the behavior presented y keep active listening, as well as promoting automatic communication establishing safe spaces.

Mental health and self-actualization of young people
Lack of communication about feelings can lead to considerable isolation in teenagers. (Free press photo: Shutterstock)

In any scenario, it is important that young people recognize the difficulties of life, so it is recommended that their responsible adults encourage them to manage their emotions adequately, based on their own experiences.

“Los adults should be role models taking into account that they also have difficulties. It is necessary to teach the same means of confrontation they have and work for them. It is also recommended listen openly and accept to seek help at any time“, points out Inés Zepeda.

In addition to those mentioned, these are other ways that psychologists share follow teenagers and validate their experiences as they grow up:

  • Hold regular meetings to discuss their emotional state.
  • Support the initiatives they promote.
  • Be a part of their goals and encourage them to continue to achieve them.
  • Encourage their independence.
  • Talk about the importance of mental health.
  • Don’t judge the mistakes they make, but raise the possibility of resolution and the responsibility to correct them.
  • Don’t underestimate your feelings.
  • Don’t compare feelings with your teen’s.
  • Standardize and facilitate access to mental health professionals.

These actions could lead young people see a clearer path to self-actualization and improve your self-esteem -which is formed by considerations such as respect, gratitude, love and personal recognition.

From a positive and constructive perspective, self-esteem can to describe the appropriate skills to see and treat a person with himself, explains Manuela Mendez.

Mental health and self-actualization of young people
From a cognitive perspective, adolescents are more aware of things that are changing at the social, physical, family, and personal levels. (Free press photo: Shutterstock)

To build self-esteem it is necessary that in this case, young people realize their ‘good and bad’ and have a clearer view of what they like about themselves and what they want to improve. In addition, it highlights personal confidence in what they can achieve and how capable they are of loving themselves, adds Inés Zepeda.

How can adults who are responsible for teenagers help them increase their self-esteem? According to Inés, it’s not about talking about it, but about practicing it.

“It is not only grace to congratulate them from a young age. It is important to invite them to stay critical in what they do so that they learn to evaluate their decisions. At such times it can be emphasized to ask them how they feel“, shares Zepeda.

Mental health and self-actualization of young people
The ability to self-recognize, as well as to face the limitations of life, can lead to good self-esteem. (Free press photo: Shutterstock)

Manuela Méndez emphasizes that in order to engage adolescents in self-respect and self-esteem, the adult who will produce it must have a balanced and healthy self-esteem.

It is also necessary instill and educate about personal judgment in experiential situations, acceptance (physical and emotional) of themselves, acceptance, recognition of their personality, development of empathy, exercise of autonomyy the introduction of spaces to stimulate creativity.

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