The Current Mental Health Crisis Amongst Adolescents


Synai Roman, Copy Editor

This article discusses mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling with social or emotional issues in school or your personal life, please reach out to your counselor. They are here to help. 

The covid-19 pandemic took the world by storm. Millions getting sick from the virus, millions dying, businesses shutting down, and lockdowns that lasted for approximately 18 months.  The youth’s education came to a halt as a 2 week break turned into a year of online schooling. The transition from in-person to online school was drastic and left many staff and students struggling to adjust. With lockdown being lifted and Covid-19 vaccines being distributed, a transition to online school to in-person has also been an adjustment. The pandemic has affected many aspects of life, one of which is the mental health of many, especially that of children. 

There is a mental health crisis among adolescents in this current time. This was declared by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. According to those groups, suicide was the second leading cause of death in the age range of 10 to 24 in 2018. The risks due to the pandemic have severely increased. For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and prevention’s data shows that mental health emergencies increased by 24% for children ages 5 to 11 and 31% from 12 to 17 in 2020 in comparison to rates in 2019. 

Children and adolescents are struggling with many pressures of the transition into in-person school such as their grades, and even dealing with deaths in their families as a result of the pandemic. According to JAMA Pediatrics clinically elevated depression and anxiety symptoms were higher in studies collected later in the pandemic and in girls. There should be more attention to the fact that the mental health of children has taken a drastic toll during the pandemic. 

If you are reading this and are currently struggling with your mental health, just know you are not alone and there are many resources that you can reach out to. There are hotlines to reach out to, counselors in your school, programs, and many more to ask for help. SBYS is a program that you can ask your counselors about to get more information. They have specific counselors that can work with you in order to help you with what you’re struggling with. The media tends to portray mental health as this linear recovery journey when that is far from the truth. Getting better takes so much effort and trial and error. There will be days that it may seem like nothing is getting better but please do not give up and keep getting the help that you deserve. 

Personally, my journey with mental health has been very difficult. In 2019 prior to the pandemic, I was experiencing extreme social anxiety which made it hard to attend school or even go out in public sometimes. After having school online for my sophomore year and returning back to school in person in September those feelings of anxiety have returned. However, I have been learning to cope. I receive help from SBYS and I currently have my own therapist as well. Discussing therapy and treatment regarding mental health should not be silenced. The more we talk about mental health, the more we can destigmatize it. 

Also, if there are any parents that are reading this article, listen to your children when they express how they feel. Even though you may not understand, listen to them, try to understand, and please get them the help they need. If you are noticing changes in your child, do not let this go unnoticed. Be patient with them and provide a safe environment for them to speak out. 

Here is a link for a list of mental health resources in Passaic: 


Here are some hotlines to reach out to if needed: 

National suicide prevention hotline: (800)-273-8255

Crisis text line: Text HOME to 741741

Childhelp National Child abuse hotline: (800) 422-4453