Adolescence is a formative and memorable time in a person’s life. Adolescents are at risk for Youth Mental Health problems due to physical, emotional, and social changes such as poverty, abuse, or violence. Protecting adolescents from adversity, fostering socio-emotional learning and psychological well-being, and guaranteeing access to mental health care are critical to their health and well-being during adolescence and adulthood.
One in every seven (10%) 10-19-year-olds in Singapore is considered to have a mental health problem, which is frequently undiagnosed and untreated.
Social exclusion, discrimination, stigma (affecting readiness to seek treatment), educational challenges, risk-taking behaviours, physical ill-health, and human rights violations all affect youth mental health Singapore.
Important information about Youth Mental Health
- Mental illness affects one in every seven 10 to 19-year-olds worldwide, accounting for 17% of the global disease burden in this particular age group.
- Depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues are the leading causes of adolescents’ illness and impairment.
- In teenagers aged 15 to 19, suicide is the fourth leading cause of death.
- Failure to address adolescent mental health issues also has long-term consequences, hurting physical and psychological health and limiting adults’ ability to live fulfilled lives.
Determinants of Youth Mental Health
Adolescence is a critical time for acquiring fundamental social and emotional habits for mental health. Adopting healthy sleep patterns, exercising regularly, learning to control emotions. Also building coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills are just a few.
Protective and supportive surroundings are critical in the home, school, and community. A variety of things influence mental health. The bigger the number of risk factors that teenagers are exposed to, the more negative effects on their mental health are likely to occur. Exposure to adversity, peer pressure, and identity exploration are all factors that can contribute to stress during adolescence.
The quality of their home life and their interactions with their peers are also crucial influences. The gap between adolescent’s lived reality, and their perceptions or goals for the future can be exacerbated by media impact and gender stereotypes. Mental health is harmed by violence (particularly sexual violence and bullying), harsh parenting, and severe economic challenges.
Adolescents are prone to emotional problems. Anxiety disorders (which might include panic attacks or excessive concern) are the most common in this age range, with older adolescents having a higher prevalence than younger adolescents. According to estimates, anxiety disorders affect 3.6 percent of 10-14-year-olds and 4.6 percent of 15-19-year-olds. Depression affects 1.1 percent of 10-14-year-olds and 2.8 percent of 15-19-year-olds.
Younger adolescents are more likely than older teenagers to suffer from behavioral disorders. Behavioral issues can harm adolescents’ education, and conduct disorders can lead to criminal behavior. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 3.1 percent of 10-14 year-olds and 2.4 percent of 15-19 year-olds. It will also characterize by trouble paying attention, excessive activity, and acting without concern for consequences. Conduct disorder affects 3.6 percent of 10-14-year-olds and 2.4 percent of 15-19-year-olds, with destructive as well as challenging behavior symptoms (1).
Eating disorders will also characterize by aberrant eating habits and a preoccupation with food. Which are frequently accompanied by concerns about body weight and shape. Bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are a few eating disorders that often manifest in adolescence as well as young adulthood. Anorexia nervosa has a greater fatality rate than any other mental condition, frequently resulting from medical issues.
Psychotic symptoms most typically appear in late adolescence or early adulthood in conditions that also include them. Hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms. These events might limit an adolescent’s ability to participate in daily life as well as education, and they frequently result in stigma or abuses of human rights.
Suicide and self-harm
In older teens (15-19 years), suicide is the fourth highest cause of mortality. Suicide risk factors are numerous and also include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Childhood maltreatment.
- Stigma against seeking help.
- Barriers to care.
- Availability to means of suicide.
Digital media, like any other form of media, also has the potential to strengthen or weaken suicide prevention initiatives.
Prevention and promotion of youth mental health Singapore
The goal of mental health promotion and preventative interventions is to improve an individual’s ability to control emotions. Also helps to improve alternatives to risky behaviors, build resilience for dealing with adversity. Also foster supportive social contexts and social networks.
These programs necessitate a multi-level approach. Which includes a variety of delivery platforms – such as schools, digital media, health or social care settings, or the community. Also a variety of techniques to reach adolescents, particularly the most vulnerable. They will also teach about how to help a depressed person. More should be spoken about youth mental health Singapore.