May 2014

It’s not unusual for teens to feel “stressed out” or “down”. The many physical, emotional and social changes that occur in adolescence can make life difficult for teens and their parents. Unrealistic expectations around academics, athletics, relationships or appearance can make matters worse. Parents need to learn about the signs of teen depression and the risk of suicide.

You Need To Know

Results from the 2014 Union County Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 7th, 9th and 11th grade students show:

  • 42.3% of students in Union County reported having moderate to high rates of depression.
  • 20.6% of students reporting having thoughts about attempting suicide in the past year.

Teens have an over-active impulse to seek pleasure and less ability to consider the consequences. As a result they can put themselves more at risk for problems with alcohol and other drugs. In some cases, teens may experiment with alcohol, drugs or become involved in unhealthy relationships to try to feel better.

Teens need their parent’s guidance more than ever to understand all the emotional and physical changes they are going through.

Here’s What You Can Do …

  • Openly talk & listen to your teen about their feelings and what is stressful. 
  • Don’t judge; your teen’s feelings are very real to them at the time. 
  • Share your observations and concerns as a way to further conversation. 
  • Lead by example to show your child healthy ways to relieve stress. 
  • Get professional help. Left untreated depression can be life threatening. 
  • Be aware if you have a family history of depression or addiction.

For more information on teen depression visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net