Depression among youth is a serious problem that is becoming more widespread. According to SAMHSA’s most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), depression is increasing among young adults and adolescents. The NSDUH found that the percentage of youth aged 18-25 who reported a major depressive episode in the previous year increased from 8.3 percent in 2011 to 9.3 percent in 2014. Even more concerning, the percentage of youth aged 12-17 with depression increased from 8.2 percent to 11.4 percent in the same time period.
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Two out of every three children experience a traumatic event by their 16th birthday1. In May, as the nation recognizes National Mental Health Awareness Month, we have an opportunity to speak up about child traumatic stress and connect families with the resources and supports they need to help their children.
Finding Help for Families and Youth, and Finding Hope on National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day
Viewers of the hit television show “Modern Family” know Reid Ewing as the talented, handsome actor and musician who has a recurring role as Dylan, the boyfriend of one of the show’s core characters. Nobody would have guessed the difficulties that he went through for years while trying to make his name in Hollywood. Last year, he went public with his longstanding challenges with body dysmorphic disorder and depression, and how important his family has been to his recovery.
Have you ever gone to your doctor for a prescription refill and your medication is no longer covered by your private health insurance plan? Or what if your medication was reclassified under a “new tier” that you can’t afford? These are prime examples of what can happen when your health plans’ drug formulary changes. A drug formulary is a list of the medications that are preferred by your health plan. Sometimes these lists change, and as a result individuals may be confused and concerned by these changes.
The love and support of family is one of the most valuable recovery resources for a person with serious mental illness. However, advocating for a loved one with serious mental illness can be stressful, confusing, and exhausting. As a result, family members often experience a host of emotions, including sadness, guilt, grief, and acceptance. This means ensuring needed supports are in place for families is an important component of supporting individuals with serious mental illness.
I’ve often said that recovery is a faith-based practice. Recovering from behavioral health conditions requires faith that we can overcome incredible odds. Recovery can also be helped by having faith in something greater than us. In fact, research shows that spirituality, one of the eight dimensions of wellness, helps improve our mental and physical health and can offer a path to important social support.