Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

Mental Health Challenges and Resources for Older Adolescents

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The later adolescent years can be very stressful and teens may find themselves struggling with problems relating to money, relationships, housing, transportation, and employment without the support of parents and teachers that might have helped when they were younger.

Teens can feel very alone if they have not learned where to find support, do not know that parents, friends, and health professionals can help, or are experiencing depression.

Setting goals and learning how to achieve them takes planning, knowledge, motivation, and support - not just a desire! Leaving home, working full time, attending college, or even living at home after 18 requires a huge life change and can be very stressful. These young adults have to learn how to make decisions, manage their own health care, get health insurance, pay bills, manage bank accounts, get car insurance, keep their own cars maintained, manage time, leisure time and relationships, and learn to negotiate relationships with doctors, bosses, credit companies, and banks.

When dealing with these critical transitions it is important to watch for signs that depression - being sad, miserable, or upset for more than two weeks - is influencing daily life. If you find yourself involved in unhealthy relationships, binge drinking or using drugs to relieve the stress, or being hard on yourself, get support from church, parents, health professionals, and friends.

Resources:
Reachout
We're Talking Teen Health
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
The Outlet Program (for LGBTQQ youth)

Photo credit: abigail art

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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