Being a teenager creates a multitude of feelings, as the body and brain grows towards adulthood.
The six “teen years” is a crucial time for any person. There are many factors which can contribute to how a teen may transition into adulthood, including parental upbringing, education, and socialising & friendships. Whilst many look back at being a teenager as a time for healthy experimentation and stability, there has been a growing emphasis to highlight teen mental awareness.
March 2nd is Teen Mental Awareness Day. It was designated to remind everyone that there are thousands of teenagers that struggle with life, and to reach out to those in need of help or advice. Everyone experiencing mental health issues should never shrink away from approaching anyone for help, but sometimes it feels like there are no one on-hand to turn to. The more we – as a society – know about mental health, the more natural the subject will be to discuss, dissect and, ultimately, to overcome.
Thankfully, communication is moving in the right direction. We have more avenues from which to express our fears and anxieties. There are more charities and help lines than ever, and fostering is at its peak. Teachers are more aware of their pupil’s mental health than they were a decade ago. Sports coaches recognise that their athletic teenage talents are more susceptible to mental health issues and, what may have been scoffed at years ago, is now treated with understanding and empathy.
This is reassuring. Yet the rates of teenage mental health issues are on the increase. What is the cause of this? Teens are acutely aware of the world (unlike, say, 8-11 year olds), and they now have access to just about anything if they really try. Continuous Covid lockdowns haven’t helped, but they can’t be the root cause.
No teen is the same. Some may experiment with alcohol and drugs, some spend too much time on social media. Some put too much pressure on themselves in school, in relationships or on the sports field. Others experience difficulties in their first job, or during their first university year living away from home. Some experience bullying (the rise of online / social media bullying is especially concerning). A sense of alienation is often felt as a teenager; life isn’t – and mostly can’t – be rosy all the time. The worst thing anyone can do is to keep all the anxieties and stresses to themselves.
It’s truly sad to hear anybody say they didn’t know they could talk to someone about their problems. At such a young age, teens should know that there are people to turn to, whether they be friends, relatives, teachers or charities.
Making the first step in talking to a trusted ally is paramount. Sharing feelings can spark moments of clarity. Even releasing a mental weight off to another human being can be a real sense of relief.
Teen Mental Awareness Day is 2nd March, but we should be aware that teenagers may need a lending ear all year round. Listen, understand and advise.
Models Direct thanks all our teenage models and wishes the very best health for years to come – physically, and mentally.