Majority Of Teens Mental Health Negatively Impacted By The Pandemic
(St. Louis, Missouri): A recent survey found that the majority of parents reported that their teen’s mental health was negatively impacted by the pandemic. The mental health concerns reported to be most prevalent included anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, and suicidal thoughts.
According to insurance reports, the number of mental health insurance claims for US teens doubled during the pandemic. Additionally, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that the second leading cause of death among teens is suicide.
Therapist and former elementary school principal, Dr. Bryan Pearlman, believes that education and awareness are two of the critical components of addressing the mental health crisis, “If parents, educators and the community are not aware of these statistics, they really need to be and right away. An important first step in addressing the mental health epidemic is education. From education comes action. Research shows that the sooner a person receives care for a mental health concern, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome.”
The increased numbers of teens seeking care for mental health concerns has been rapidly increasing in the St. Louis area as well. Dr. Pearlman sees this increase firsthand, “Five years ago, the average age of a client in our practice was approximately 40 years old. Today, the average age of a client is closer to 18 years old. We have also seen a rapid rise in the number of children under 12 years old that are coming in with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and other mental health concerns.”
Dr. Pearlman has some advice for parents, “You know your child the best. If you begin noticing changes in their behavior, appearance or attitude, this is something that you want to address right away. It is always best to err on the side of caution. You can reach out to your pediatrician for guidance or contact a therapist who specializes in working with children and teens.”
Dr. Bryan Pearlman is a therapist with Dr. Lena Pearlman & Associates, a mental health practice located in Creve Coeur. The practice specializes in working with children, teens, and families. More information about Dr. Lena Pearlman & Associates is available at: https://STLmentalhealth.com. The office can be reached by phone at: 314-942-1147.