Mental health in young people has become an important issue during the last generations. They are prone to feel overwhelmed by all the changes in their daily lives and the problems they face when entering different social groups, especially if we talk about Millennials and Generation Z.
This issue has attracted attention, because it must be treated responsibly in all contexts to prevent much more serious diseases. Although it is an issue that affects young people, we must all do our part to support them to improve their mental health.
If you notice that a friend, relative, partner or acquaintance needs help, follow the advice that we will give you.
What is mental health according to the WHO?
It is a state of well-being in the person , which involves 4 elements:
- Dealing with stressful moments throughout life
- Fully develop skills of all kinds
- Learn, study and work efficiently
- Contribute to the improvement of the community
Why is mental health important?
Have you felt judged or have you seen someone judged because of their mental health problems? It’s because sometimes we associate them with weakness, even though it really isn’t.
Having good mental health must be taken seriously in order to make good decisions in life, manage our intrapersonal relationships, and balance our physical and mental well-being.
How do young people feel in Colombia?
TheGeneral Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) 2022 surveyed more than 1,350 Colombian youth between the ages of 12 and 17 and the results showed that of them:
- Almost 53% feel a high level of overwhelm and tension in their environment.
- 38.7% feel depressed.
- About 36% have lost self-confidence.
- 35.4% do not believe they are capable of making decisions.
- 30.1% do not fall asleep well.
These factors along with lack of concentration, feeling useless or worthless, the inability to enjoy some activities and feel happy are the most common among young people when suffering from mental health illnesses.
¿Qué factores afectan la salud mental en jóvenes?
1. Social networks
We all constantly use our electronic devices (cell phones, computers, tablets) and it is recurring that many young people become addicted to social networks that’s why.
Using these networks is also related to increased anxiety and depression; in addition to low self-esteem and cyberbullying. All of them symptoms or elements that increase mental health problems.
2. The COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic
COVID-19 caused us to stay away from people for a long time, and that together with the worry of catching the virus caused us to feel more alone or stressed with life.
Then, we had an abrupt “back to normal” and started to feel anxious when we were outside or with a lot of people. All these factors are the reason why many young people have felt more and more on the edge of their problems.
3. Concern for working life
Study and work loads, or the time we invest in one of the two, are common frustrations for everyone, but they mean twice as much for young people who live in the constant change of these environments.
This is how your feeling of tiredness and stress for not disappointing the expectations of the world also grow.
These factors significantly affect their mental health and lead to illnesses such as Burnout.
4. The widespread frustrations
We have all been part of a social group and we know what it is to want to solve collective problems. In the case of young people, it can happen that they feel very responsible and, at the same time, frustrated for being “the future of the planet” and having too many collective concerns to think about.
This can increase the anxiety they feel about making important changes, however difficult it may seem, and destabilize their emotions and mental health.
5. Biological characteristics
As you read, there is also biological factors that influence your mental health and that of others. There are 4 main types that you should know about:
- The genetic ones, which are given by the information of the genes and are from birth.
- Prenatals, which occur during the mother’s pregnancy due to external or internal situations.
- The perinatal, which are caused by some difficulty during birth.
- The postnatal, which depend on the care and attention that babies have after birth.
These are out of our control, they are pretty much inherent, but still treatable.
How to help a young person’s mental health from 3 different perspectives?
1. Tips in case you are going through a difficult time
How about connecting with other people!
Having good support from other people can help you talk more and find solutions to your problems. It can also teach you to understand some situations and overcome day-to-day conflicts.
You can call a close friend or tell a relative what you are feeling, a trusted person with whom you can be honest about what is happening to you.
Seek a new purpose or meaning for your life
If you have lost motivation in the things you did before, planning a fresh start can help. Explore hobbies and find opportunities in the little things to create a new future and clear your mind.
For example, you can encourage yourself to paint or be part of a play. You can learn to play an instrument or to prepare food. The key is to try various activities that give you inspiration.
Do physical or relaxation activities
When you find activities that you enjoy doing, they will be a way to channel your negative energies. This way you can stay distracted and find an incentive to keep going.
In this case, you can practice a sport such as swimming, basketball or gymnastics. You can take yoga classes, your favorite dance or also breath control. Set up a schedule and mark your goals on it to make sure you stick to them.
Consult a health professional
All young people are different and will receive experiences in their own way, but it is always good to have the opinion of an expert on the subject when dealing with health problems.
Go to a doctor who can guide you in all stages of your process and who can give you very useful advice to work on your concerns.
2. How to help a friend or your partner
Listen to it
Active listening will be good for that young person to feel your company and know that they can count on your support.
Invite him to eat a Burger or visit a place he likes and touch the subject subtly. You don’t have to agree or have felt the same as your friend or partner, you just have to be empathetic and avoid judging them.
Ask him how to help you
Sometimes when we come across someone who needs our help, we don’t know how to act. Therefore, you can ask him directly what he wants you to do. If he has an answer for you, it might help his situation a lot. If not, you will give her a chance to think well of her.
Also, if he doesn’t want to tell you something or doesn’t want to go out with you at some point, respect his boundaries and give him some space. Of course, do not abandon your desire to support him; You just have to go with your rhythm.
Reserve what I tell you
It is difficult to express thoughts and feelings in general, so imagine what it is like to tell about mental health problems for that young person. So, when your friend tells you about it, don’t share that information with other people because it is very important to him.
Learn to evaluate the conversation
Just as there are occasions to listen to it, there are also occasions to distract it. You can have conversations in which you tell things about yourself or talk with that person about topics that you both like.
You could even invite him to do different activities, something out of the ordinary or out of his routine so that he gets a change of scenery.
Encourage him to seek professional help
It is never wrong to recommend to your friend that they seek the support of a professional. Having problems is our daily bread, but to overcome them, it is good to go to other people who know about the subject.
Make sure you don’t push him, try to make him understand the advantages of going to an expert. Erasing the taboo of weakness also depends on you.
3. To support your son or daughter
Understands that there are concerns for every stage of life
Your child’s age depends on his desires and concerns. Be understanding and analyze what changes can occur at each stage of your child’s life to know which behaviors need special attention.
For example, don’t expect your son to worry about college if he is 10 or 11 years old, there will be time for him to think about what he wants to do with his life. If you push him about it, he may have more trouble unnecessarily.
Maintain honest and transparent communication
Listen to your child and be honest with him when he wants to talk about anything so that your bond can be strong. One of the most important keys to mental health is communication, and talking about all kinds of topics with confidence will make him feel close to you.
try to offer solutions
You will have already lived certain experiences that will help you advise your child. Find and offer him solutions to his problems or find them together. That will help them feel your support and don’t hesitate to ask about your experience if they need a solution to a situation.
Pay attention to their behavior
If you notice something unusual in how your child is acting, something that goes beyond simple changes, it’s important to look into it. Observe him without violating the limits of his privacy, remember that he is young and values his autonomy.
So you can be sure what happens to your child and prevent diseases related to mental health.
Balance your actions
Especially during the development and strengthening of the personality, preventing mental health problems is linked to what we receive from what surrounds us, from the relationships around us. That’s why celebrating your children’s achievements is just as important as correcting their bad actions or behaviors.
This does not mean that you always have to scold or reward them, it means that you must have the right balance between the two.
Although you can help people to have an understanding and safe environment, you are not totally responsible for the mental health of others; each person needs to live their processes step by step and build their own will.
Alternative treatments to treat mental health in young people
Before looking at the following alternatives, be careful and always stay informed before using any treatment. You can treat your mental health problems or recommend these suggestions to other young people, but always have the opinion of a specialist to do everything responsibly.
A magical mushroom therapy
According to various studies, the Psychedelic Mushrooms they have many properties that help emotional stability, feel more relaxed and keep an open mind. These mushrooms have also been a good alternative to treat patients with depression.
You can learn more experiences with mushrooms and document yourself about the impact of this type of therapy on people with our miniseries A trip down a mushroom flight .
An unconventional method with cannabis
Much research has been carried out on the positive effects of the clinical use of cannabis in the treatment of pathologies such as social phobia, anxiety and diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Likewise, used under the supervision of a health professional, it has been shown that it can help improve sleep quality and reduce pain in cancer patients.
Do not forget: Consult your doctor, find out and decide. Mental health YES is health and you have to put your mind into it.
If you want to know more about mental health in young people, check out our blog or our social networks.
Made with love