Addressing the Teen Mental Health Crisis

You have felt the exhaustion of the overwhelm of the last few years. And you have witnessed the devastating toll it has taken on all of us, especially our kids and teens. We need to do something to change the tide.

Here is my doctoral capstone project proposal. I recorded it for you immediately following my formal oral defense to my capstone advisor. If you care about, work with, love, and/or are concerned for teenagers and are worried about the heart-breaking mental health crisis too many of them are living through, you may be interested in my research and plans for helping our precious youth! Watch:

Parents looking for support can grab the parenting combo pack. Click below for details.

Teen Mental Health is a Growing Concern

My capstone proposal paper is available to anyone interested in the research and sources. You can find it here JODI’S CAPSTONE PROPOSAL PAPER. Here is the introduction to give you an overview:

Parents, educators, providers, and the young people themselves are reporting a trend of worsening mental health symptoms in adolescents and a rise in the risks that come with them, like self-harm, suicide, racism, violence, anxiety, and depression. In October 2021, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Children’s Hospital Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry declared the youth mental health crisis a national emergency. Agreeing that this problem needs attention, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory on child and adolescent mental health two months later. These trends indicate an immediate need for accessible and impactful social work interventions to ease suffering and prevent the potential for long-term negative effects on youths’ well-being. Thus, in the following capstone proposal, I will:

  • define anxiety and depression,
  • examine the prevalence of them among adolescents,
  • investigate possible causes of the increased prevalence,
  • discuss barriers and facilitators to treatment,
  • introduce a theory-based modality called wise interventions, and
  • propose the development of a wise intervention called COMPASS.

Following a comprehensive overview of the literature on the crisis, I present the theory behind wise interventions. Finally, I propose addressing these problems at their roots with a new low-cost, impactful, accessible, classroom-based, and culturally-sensitive curriculum for high school health teachers to facilitate during their mental health units. 

Hurt people, hurt people.

Negative energy is contagious, especially in this world where we’re all becoming increasingly sensitive.

People who experience anxiety and depression often seek control to regulate their emotions (even if they don’t relate to what they feel as being anxious and or depressed). Sometimes they direct that control at themselves, for example, through self-harm, eating problems, substance use, and suicidal behaviors. Other times they aim to control others through teen peer violence, teen dating violence, and discrimination. These consequences are concerning in and of themselves, and also can cause adverse childhood experiences––potentially traumatic events that occur in childhood. As you may be imagining these cause more anxiety and depression, and so, even more of these consequences well into adulthood. These folks grow up and have their own children, often taking these traumas into the next generation. Whether these are subtle or intense doesn’t matter; no one deserves this, nor can our communities handle it.

Happy People, heal people.

I am designing a curriculum for high school health teachers to use in their mental health curriculum called COMPASS. COMPASS stands for Connected, Open, Motivated, Powerful, and Self-Sustaining. The goal is to provide an evidence-based intervention for every student – circumventing the stigma and health disparities that keep young people from getting treatment. The program will ease the mental health of students who are struggling and prevent future emotional or relational problems for those who are not. Plus, it aims to stabilize people’s agency, authority, and growth mindset creating a happier, heartier, and more caring society.

Parents, if you need some extra support to care for your loveys, I have resources for you on the parent resource page.

1 thought on “Addressing the Teen Mental Health Crisis”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top