According to the National Day Calendar, March 2nd marks World Teen Mental Wellness Day. It is a day that strives to increase awareness and decrease stigma about the many mental health issues that teens deal with daily. Many teens begin presenting various problems at around 14 years of age. These issues often go undiagnosed and untreated.
Some teens have a history of emotional neglect, disruption within their family lives, or traumatic experiences. In all cases, being mindful of the impact of trauma when working with teens is of the utmost importance. While not every teen experiences trauma, most teens experience the challenging developmental realities of becoming a young adult.
As a counseling intern, I have spent the past nine months working with several teenage clients. I often find myself identifying patterns and common issues among them (although I recognize the individuality and uniqueness each person brings). These shared experiences often point to larger systems impacting them. Additionally, the question of, “What brings you to counseling” often produces a nervous response. If there is one thing I tell my younger clients, it is that there are 100 reasons a person can come to therapy, and not one of them has to be an emergency. I find this sentiment fosters a sense of normalcy, comfort, and safety. Ultimately, teens need a safe and inclusive space where they can explore their concerns. This space and therapeutic relationship helps build emotional resilience and regulation.
World Teen Mental Wellness Day encourages open conversations to help teens around the world. Many of these conversations take place in the counseling room. Below you will find a list of the most common teenage presenting problems/topics. The point of this list is to reduce stigma and promote healthy and candid conversations with teenagers. Having a difficult conversation is just one way to celebrate World Teen Mental Wellness Day.
10 Reasons Teenagers May Seek Counseling:
- To change self-harming behaviors and cope with distress.
- To challenge thoughts around disordered eating and body image.
- To navigate family conflicts and parental divorce.
- To process and heal from sexual abuse and trauma.
- To delve into early dating life challenges.
- To build better communication/social skills and learn how to set boundaries.
- To manage conflict at both school and home.
- To gain a stronger sense of self-worth and acceptance while finding their voice and power.
- To learn how to make a routine to stay organized, motivated, and balanced.
- To find safety and inclusion- especially for LGBTQ+ youth.
If you need support and would like to speak to a professional counselor about topics, such as the one featured in this blog, and are in the Chicago area, please contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.
Written by Liz, Mental Health Counseling Master’s Level Intern
World teen mental wellness day. (2021). National Today. https://nationaltoday.com/world-teen-mental-wellness-day