Mental Health In Teenagers

By: Linnea Moore (Hour 7)

Mental Health is a broad issue affecting many thousands of teenagers in the United States and around the world.Mental Illnesses are caused by:genetics,chemical imbalances, and the environment can cause mental illness. There are many different mental disorders including: Depression, Schizophrenia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and others. Each illness affects teenagers in different ways, and treatments vary from medication to therapy.

Media Influences

Interpersonal Communication

Parents or Guardians

One person to talk to about mental illness in teenagers is a parent or guardian. They, even if not able to help much, could point a person in the right direction to learn more about mental illnesses. They could help to talk about emotions, and information about who can help.

Counselors and Teachers

Another type of person to talk to about mental illness in teenagers. A counselor would be able to provide better information than a parent or guardian, and would most likely have a more direct link to a mental health professional.


Friends are a valuable resource to explain emotions and problems to. They would be a place to go first if a teenager is hurting and then go on to professionals or adults for more specific help.

Immediate and Long Term Risk Factors

Immediate Risk Factors

Mental Health issues can impact one's life greatly. Right away, a person may feel depressed, anxious, fatigued, like crying, sore and achey, and irritable. Many immediate symptoms of mental illness can be confused with mood swings, but if symptoms last longer than two weeks, it is best to seek help.

Long Term Risk Factors

Over the long term, a person with mental health issues may lose or gain weight, stop taking care of themselves, having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, self-harm and mutilation, and suicide. All of these long term risk factors require help to treat, and there are many ways to help a mentally ill teenager.


Local Help

In the Greater Mankato area, there is only one licensed child psychiatrist, her name is Sreelatha Spieker M.D.. Dr. Spieker works for the Mankato Clinic Health System. She is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is board certified in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.


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