Mental Health Education for Teenagers

Mental health has become the crisis of a generation. Diagnoses of mental illness have been on the rise for years, especially among high school students. Research suggests many causes for the rise, but one thing is clear: Teenagers today are fighting a battle against these diseases, and while it’s not an easy fight, it’s a worthwhile one that can improve your life. Mental illnesses are manageable. The first and most important step is knowledge.

Types of Mental Illness

Mental illnesses are rooted in the biological function of the brain. There are many types of mental illnesses, and they are generally divided into specific categories. Some common ones are anxiety disorders like general anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, mood disorders like major depression and bipolar disorder, and psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is also considered to be a form of mental illness, classified as substance abuse disorders. Just like with bodily diseases, mental illnesses have specific symptoms, causes, and treatments, so knowing the details of the illness you have is important for managing it.


Mental illness represents a major obstacle for today’s youth. Its effects can be seen across society, in families, in the economy, and in schools. It manifests itself in many of the problems of this generation, from drug epidemics to school shootings. But it isn’t just a societal problem: It’s a real issue that can affect you and your friends, family members, or coworkers. An increasing amount of social work is being done to address these problems and help people improve their quality of life.


A portion of mental illness prevention lies in how we treat one another. Family and community relationships can be key to preventing mental illness, and people with strong, stable familial bonds or who receive a lot of care from their community are less likely to become mentally ill. It’s important, too, that people not just keep a watch on their own mental health but anyone else around them who might be suffering.

Another important aspect of mental illness prevention is the removal of the stigma surrounding these diseases. Many people are afraid to seek treatment during the beginning stages of their illnesses for fear that they will be looked down upon by their peers and/or society as a whole. Just like any other illness, early treatment prevents further complications, and people shouldn’t be embarrassed to seek help whenever they need it.


Like with other diseases, mental illnesses have a wide variety of treatments. Psychiatry is a broad science that involves many different strategies for helping patients improve their lives. One of the most important treatments is therapy. Many social work professionals devote their lives to addressing mental disorders and helping the people who suffer from them. Therapy allows patients to narrow down the specific disease they have and find strategies to deal with it in their lives. For example, one major strategy is cognitive behavioral therapy, which is used to treat a number of mental disorders. CBT involves recognizing the triggers of certain thought patterns and then controlling and stopping these patterns.

Therapy is important for nearly any mental illness, but it’s not the only treatment. Medication may also be necessary to address the physical and chemical problems occurring the brain. Depending on the illness and its severity, medication may be used for a short time coupled with therapy to help someone out of a negative spiral, or it may be a long-term solution to a chronic disorder.

Most patients can sufficiently address their mental illnesses on an outpatient basis, but anyone who is considering harming themselves or others may need inpatient treatment, just like anyone badly injured or ill might need hospitalization. No matter which type of medical attention a person might need, it’s crucial to remember that mental illnesses are very treatable. Being informed is the first step toward being mentally healthy.

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