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Teen Mental Health and Why it’s Important

Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. The term “mental health” means the absence of a mental disorder. Lack of prominence given to teenage mental health is a primary cause for suicide which is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.

A teenager's mental health in particular is often unpredictable, just like a teenager's mind. In some eyes, they are seen as rebellious, impulsive, and careless, and many of them are; however, their emotions and actions always stem from somewhere deeper, a place more troubled. Validating teenage mental issues is essential as they face many physical, social and other changes during this age, and adults such as their parents and school faculty should acknowledge and support their thoughts and emotions.

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Teen suicide and the causes for it:

In 2018, statistics showed that in India one student committed suicide every hour on average. Because mental health conditions are not dealt with at a younger age, globally, close to 800,000 people die from suicide every year. Suicides in teenagers are caused by poor coping skills, family disruptions, loss, etc. Teenagers often start building their own identities, thoughts, and morals, which could lead to disagreements and fallouts in relationships that they had heavily relied on. Now, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people from 10 to 34, according to the CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention). "People want to blame social media, they want to blame video games, — this is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about," says Child psychologist Peter Gray who has been investigating child and teen suicides through academic school years. "Rates will likely continue to go up if we don't, as a society, really put more emphasis on comprehensive suicide prevention," states CDC suicide prevention researcher Deb Stone. Schools can easily target large amounts of children and is arguably one of the best places to address suicide. These staggering numbers need to be combated with safe environments where teenagers can vocalize their experiences.


Bullying, be it verbal or physical, is the most frequently reported cause of problems such as panic attacks, low self-esteem, depression, insomnia, and even suicidal thoughts. The major grounds on which most teens are harassed for include: physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, and/or sexual orientation. It is known that bullying behavior and suicide-related behavior are closely related, this means youths who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior. Just a Teen has gathered primary data from over 70+ teenagers about whether or not they have been involved with bullying and 91.4% of the responses affirmed that they had witnessed involvement in bullying. Oftentimes, the assailants themselves are troubled, and putting others down is their coping mechanism to vindicate their importance. One way to resolve this problem is by breaking the chain of hate. This can be done by communicating with both the victim and the person who has bullied the child by opening a safe space wherein both parties can speak up about bullying and getting bullied.

Body Dysmorphia:

Body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health disorder in which you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can't be seen by others. Teenagers are very conscious regarding their bodies and appearance to the point where they are neglecting their real health. Regular name-calling or body shaming has deprived almost every overweight teenager of mental peace. It is affecting them in a grave manner, bound to leave life-long scars over their personality.​The stressful conditions of adolescence, during which bodies undergo massive changes, combined with a culture that is obsessed with a very specific “ideal” body type, are fertile ground for eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, etc. About 30% of girls and 24% of boys report daily bullying, teasing, and/or rejection based on their body size. These numbers are doubled (63% of girls and 58% of boys) for high school students who are living in larger bodies.​


Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension, it’s one’s body's reaction to a challenge or demand. This is a recurring problem for most teenagers: the pressure to become someone, do better, stand out amongst everyone else, all comes crashing down on most. Just A Teen has collected over 70 responses from a survey conducted earlier in 2020. It was found that over 91.5% of the sample dealt with large amounts of stress in their lives. To add to the matter, in 2015, a research study by Mission Australia found that almost 40 percent of 15- to 19-year-olds are very concerned about their ability to cope with stress.​ The world is no longer as small as it used to be and they now realize that they need to fight for their place amongst the other 7.8 billion that are fighting just as hard. The pressure to do well in school becomes extremely overwhelming and stressful. What may be some of the hardest years in a teenager’s life, are also the years that determine their entire future. The worst part of it all, is that no one warned them. No one told them how hard it was going to be to merely exist in their bodies, in their minds.

To parents, teachers, and friends reading this, all teenagers ask from you is to listen, to validate, and place yourselves in their shoes. Being a teenager is complicated, hard, and painful, but it shouldn't always have to be. Just A Teen, a platform where teenagers can speak up about their mental health and experiences, now has over 90 articles from children across Bangalore speaking out about their mental health and experiences. Realizing that these many serious problems exist and that so little is being done to resolve them is a red flag. For every time you choose to ignore it, a teenager's life is at risk. Soon it won’t be a faraway news headline from another city, it will be someone who you knew had so much to live for, so much to see, and you will stand in the thought of what could have been.

Writter by - Writers at Just A Teen ( Jasmitha B Reddy, Sharvari Thekkatte and Saachi Bhardwaj )

Sources -​

Fig 1 was taken from

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