Mental Health and Youth

Being a student is stressful, and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately one in five youth aged 13–18 live with mental health conditions and approximately 75% of people with mental health issues develop them prior to the age of 24.

Did You Know?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, one in eight children are affected by anxiety, yet 80% of those with a diagnosed anxiety disorder do not receive treatment. Children have a much better chance of overcoming anxiety with counseling, medication, and other helpful tools designed for treating anxiety.



Signs and Symptoms
Anxiety can be a normal part of childhood if experienced occasionally, but students with continued symptoms often have a treatable anxiety disorder. Common symptoms include:

• Difficulty concentrating, poor judgement and memory issues
• Depression, agitation and difficulty relaxing
• Nausea, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and chest pains
• Change in academic performance in school
• Alcohol and drug use to “feel better”
• Some adolescents may complain of headaches and stomach aches

What Can a Parent Do?

Being a parent can be challenging, especially during stressful times. Thankfully, there are some useful tips to keep in mind and resources you can turn to for help:

• Listen with an open mind
• Encourage them to reach out to others, exercise, or listen to or play music
• Even in times of stress, do something fun or special with your teen each day
• Balance close supervision with giving space
• Avoid power struggles and be open to a different perspective
• Remember, it’s okay to ask for help

The information above was adapted from the Vermont Care Partners.