St. Petersburg Youth Farm

You’re not listening!

By Kalia Early, 15, Youth Farm Participant

There are currently millions of teenagers suffering from mental health issues. Teens tend to face a lot of stress, often resulting in mental illness. About one in five youth have some sort of mental illness, according to www.teenmentalhealth.org.

Many factors could impact this; a prime example is school. Getting all of our classwork and homework done on time with enough effort to get good grades is very stressful. Trying to balance school with a social life is another factor. Having no friends leads to feelings of loneliness and depression. Making friends is hard for some, especially those who don’t fit society’s standards.

There is so much pressure to look and act “normal” and desirable to fit in— the kids who don’t fit in often experience bullying or feel alone. While social media may help to keep up with having a social life, it can also have a negative impact on people’s mental health.

Many teens compare their looks to others on the internet, resulting in them having body dysmorphia and eating disorders. Some feel like they’re not doing enough in life, or are living life wrong when they see what others post.

Many teens also experience cyberbullying. Pewresearch.org states that 59 percent of teens in America have experienced bullying or harassment online. This causes suicidal thoughts, anxiety, depression, emotional problems, and more.

According to helpguide.org, excessive social media use also causes feelings of isolation or loneliness. When kids sit at home on their phones all day just looking at people out doing things in the real world or interacting with others, they can begin to feel isolated.

Not only has social media caused feelings of isolation, but so has the coronavirus. Quarantine has worsened the mental health of numerous teenagers. Many of us have stayed inside on our phones for very long periods of time. Social media has been the only way for a lot of us to stay in touch with our friends, causing us to use it for excessive amounts of time.

Not to mention that some students’ homes are not the safest places for them to be. Many have experienced and still do experience trauma because of the people they live with. I’ve seen some of my friends experience depression because of what close family and friends put them through.

There are too many young people suffering from mental disorders worldwide. What will teen mental health look like years from now if we don’t start making more of an effort to raise awareness and find solutions? We need to spread more awareness about this cause. Parents need to be informed, and we have to take action and better the mental health of teens worldwide.

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