Adolescence is a time of exploration where individuals are still second-guessing their preferences, skills, and place in society. It is also stressful given the pressures the youth face in their family and relationships as they strive to strike a balance between getting along and staying true to who they are. Adolescents are still looking for acceptance and scrambling to fit a standard. Some even worry about they way the look and how well they are doing in school seeming like they never run out of wrongs to pick on themselves. Young people also have big dreams which they’re not quite sure yet how to realize, in the same way they’re uncertain if they got what it takes to live those dreams. Simply put, being young requires an endless stream of emotional resilience. If the youth falls short on this psychological resource, adults must step in to listen and guide them.
Youth mental health first aid is exactly what these crises call for. Mental health first aid is the help given to individuals who are going through a rough time mentally, while professional treatment is not yet available. It can be performed by parents, teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, and health care providers, all of whom interact and work with teenagers every day. MHFA is also available to those who seek a career related to mental health and have a passion for helping young people manage their emotional crises.
Skills in mental health are also beneficial to families and educational institutions because of the relationship you can strengthen, mental peace you can promote, and hope you can light up. Youth MHFA is even more useful now as, according to the Mental Health Commission of New South Wales, one in four Australians aged 16-24 are struggling with a mental illness and one of three individuals are suffering from moderate to high levels of psychological distress. MHFA-accredited individuals can further help pacify the rising toll of mental health cases through the following:
- Identifying the early warning signs of mental health problems
- Presenting help to troubled youth to prevent the issue from getting worse
- Informing youth about the risk factors of mental health problems
- Assisting in patient recovery
- Coordinating with mental health professionals for treatment
- Monitoring and documenting youth’s mental health progress since the beginning of treatment
- Helping youth with coping strategies and cognitive restructuring
- Advocating for mental health awareness and breaking the stigma on mental illnesses
The youth bears potentials and talents crucial for nation-building. Thus, we need to steer them in the right direction when mental health issues fog their vision for improvement. Mental health first aid is a powerful tool and as described above, it can lessen the number of youth suffering from mental distress.
If you’d like to learn more about youth mental health and mental health first aid as a discipline, you can give us a call at 07 5499 2406. We can call you in for a consultation or enlist in one of our MHFA courses.