Why Youth Mental Health Awareness is So Important

Youth mental health is a significant concern in the United States as an increasing number of teens experience mental health challenges. The problem has become so concerning that in 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency regarding children’s mental health.[1] The challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought only compounded existing mental health conditions. Bringing awareness to these issues has become increasingly important.

We will share information on youth mental health awareness and why it is so essential, as well as how you can help your teen overcome mental health stigmas to get them the help they need.

What is Mental Health Awareness?

When we talk about mental health awareness, we are referring to what it means to have good mental health and the dangers that can arise when mental health conditions are not dealt with. Mental health awareness can also include looking at the stigmas that exist when talking about mental illness. Although May is designated as Mental Health Awareness Month, keeping the conversation going year-round is essential, especially when dealing with youth mental health.

The Importance of Youth Mental Health Awareness

Youth mental health awareness is important because awareness can open up paths to treatment in care. Statistics from 2020 show that only about half of all youth in the U.S. ages 6-17 received treatment for their mental health disorder.[2] This research also showed:

  • 1 in 6 youths ages 12-17 experienced a major depressive episode
  • 3 million youths had severe thoughts of suicide

Statistics like these are partly what prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics to declare a national emergency when it comes to children’s mental health. Physicians point out deficiencies in care and have called for more funding to be added for mental health screenings and treatment.[1] They also call for more efforts to reduce the risk of suicide in children through school programs and other avenues.

How to Promote Youth Mental Health Awareness

One of the best ways to highlight the importance of youth mental health and the deficiencies surrounding it is to promote awareness. Here are several ways this can be done:

Talk About the Problems

Many youths experiencing a mental health condition are afraid to admit to and talk about it. But talking with them about their condition can help to raise awareness. It can also help them understand better what is going on so they can get the help they need.

Educate Yourself About Youth Mental Health

Before you can teach your children, you need to educate yourself about mental health issues. Many of us are uninformed when it comes to the topic. By researching and educating yourself, you can help promote mental health awareness.

Educate Them About the Warning Signs

Many times, teens are more likely to talk to their friends about a problem rather than an adult. Teach your child how to recognize the signs of mental illness. When they know what to look for, they can better detect issues with friends who may open up to them. This type of discussion can also make them aware if they begin having similar thoughts and feelings.

Help Them to Overcome Stigmas

One of the reasons why teens with a mental health disorder don’t get the treatment they need is that they feel shame. The stigma attached to mental health conditions can make them afraid to admit they have a problem and ask for help. Help them overcome these stigmas by instilling in them that there is nothing wrong with people with mental health issues. Reducing stigmas and normalizing mental health care can help to promote youth mental health awareness and help teens battling these issues.

Getting Mental Health Treatment at Healing Foundations

Healing Foundations Center helps people in Scottsdale, Arizona, receive the mental health treatments they need for their mental health disorders. Our team specializes in treating various issues and will find the right treatment plan. Treatments range from different therapy methods to outpatient psychotherapy and more.

If you or a loved one needs treatment for a mental health disorder, call Healing Foundations Center today to see how we can help.



[1] https://www.aap.org/en/advocacy/child-and-adolescent-healthy-mental-development/aap-aacap-cha-declaration-of-a-national-emergency-in-child-and-adolescent-mental-health/

[2] https://www.nami.org/mhstats