Mental Health in Adolescents

Important mental health habits—including coping, resilience, and good judgment—help adolescents to achieve overall wellbeing and set the stage for positive mental health in adulthood. Mood swings are common during adolescence. However, approximately one in five adolescents has a diagnosable mental disorder, such as depression and/or anxiety disorders. Friends and family can watch for warning signs of mental disorders and urge young people to get help.

The Warning signs aren’t always obvious, but more common symptoms include persistent irritability, anger, or social withdrawal, as well as major changes in appetite or sleep.3 Mental health disorders can disrupt school performance, harm relationships, and lead to suicide (the second leading cause of death among adolescents).1

Effective treatments exist and may involve a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Unfortunately, less than half of adolescents with psychiatric disorders received any kind of treatment in the last year.

Check out these resources for adolescent mental health services:

Cobb/Douglas CSB – Bright Changes Programs

  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides the Mental Health Services Locator, an online, map-based program visitors can use to find facilities in their vicinity. Local organizations may be particularly helpful for addressing the mental health needs of adolescents in a specific community.
  • Adolescents (or anyone) in suicidal crisis or emotional distress can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline exit disclaimer icon at 1-800-273-TALK. Calls made to this 24-hour hotline are routed to the caller’s nearest crisis center.
  • YouMatter exit disclaimer icon is a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline site for young adults, complete with a blog where visitors can share problems and receive support.
 Excerpts from Health Human Services, Office Adolescent Development 
Footnotes Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS).  National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (producer). Retrieved October 14, 2016, from: Mental Health America. (2013). Depression in Teens. Retrieved February 16, 2016, from