Teens and adolescents who are suffering from mental health conditions should not feel alone. Young people across the country are experiencing epidemic rates of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. They are also self-medicating untreated mental health problems with alcohol and drugs — a dangerous trend that can lead to health problems, substance use disorders, and even suicidal ideation.
The prevalence of teen mental health problems is a complex and multifactorial problem. Teens are reporting many drivers for dysphoria and alienation. Some problems, like neglect, abuse, and alienation, are age-old threats to teen well-being. A variety of modern cultural factors are also playing a role in mental illness. Ubiquitous availability and use of devices have introduced new threats like cyber-bullying and social media dependency. Increased messaging about climate change, political unrest, school violence, and other negative socio-cultural influences are also leading many teens to feel anxious or hopeless.
The Muir Wood care team are front-line responders to the effects of negative life experiences, fears about the futures, and isolation that often accompanies and perpetuates mental health and substance use disorders. Our role is to help teens and their families learn to understand these issues, find the personal agency needed to manage these conditions, and the tools and techniques to maintain holistic health and well-being.
While every young person Muir Wood helps have unique talents, personalities, and skills many share concerns and challenges. Some underlying issues and experiences they share are existential angst, cultural influences, performance pressures, issues relating to being adopted, and more.