Mental health is a complex subject that many people find themselves shying away from, but for Blacks, teens and young adults; it’s a conversation that must be had. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, according to the CDC. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Essentially, our mental health helps us determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood, but as of late, it seems to be extremely important for teens and young adults.
The pandemic has had a drastic effect on the mental state of everyone in some shape or form, but it has especially affected the youth.
“Early adolescence is a time when youth are already experiencing rapid change physically, emotionally and socially, and the COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption to this sensitive stage in life,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which funded the research.
Fortunately for parents, there are three key factors that have proven to help teens during the pandemic.
Support from family and friends, along with exercise and sufficient sleep, have helped protect teens’ mental health during the pandemic, new research shows.
The study also found that teen girls have been more likely than boys to suffer mental distress during the pandemic.
For the study, researchers analyzed data gathered from more than 3,000 participants, aged 11 to 14, in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study — the largest long-term study of brain development and child health ever conducted in the United States — before and during the early months of the pandemic.