Adolescents and Mental Health
Covid and Mental Health
The covid pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on normative youth development and mental health. Superimposed upon the challenging developmental tasks of the teen years has been the isolation from peers, fear, aggression, anxiety, depression and self harming behaviours. Adolescents often don’t have coping skills sufficient to respond healthily to the impact of covid. This has led to a dramatic increase in the development of mental health symptoms and emergencies.
Indicators of a Distressed Child
The pressure for parents and teachers has increased dramatically. Added to their daily challenge is the burden of being vigilant for indicators that a child is in trouble. Indicators that a child is distressed might include:
- Changes in mood that are not typical for your child.
- Changes in behaviour such as stepping away for personal relationships.
- Loss of interest in the activities that were previously enjoyed.
- Sleep challenges including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping all the time.
- Changes in weight, eating habits.
- Difficulty with memory, concentration or thinking.
- Decreased interest in schoolwork and drop in academic effort.
- Changes in personal hygiene.
- Increased risky or reckless behaviours such as using drugs or alcohol.
- Thoughts or talking about death or suicide.
What steps should a caregiver take if any of these symptoms arise/persist?
- Contact the child’s pediatrician or medical practitioner.
- Reach out to a mental health professional who has expertise working with youth.
“As a parent, one of the hardest things to witness and experience is your child struggling. There are times when we cannot do it on our own and need to enlist the help of others to help our children get through the difficult times and promote their mental health and well-being. Liz has worked with my teenage girls throughout the years, she has been a mentor and an ally, she has given them support they needed when no one else could and treats them like they are one of her own. My girls trust her with their innermost thoughts and feelings and will reach out to Liz on their own when they need help or just want someone to talk to. I am so grateful for the support and wisdom Liz has provided us, there isn’t anyone I trust more with my kids. In their own words, Liz is ‘iconic’ and a ‘true badass’ and there is no one else like her!”Vanessa – Mother of two adolescent daughters