We often joke about how difficult teenagers can be, with their bad attitude, crazy dress styles, loud music, mood swings, withdrawal from family, and constant breaking of the rules. Sometimes what young people experience is a normal part of growing up and becoming an adult. But it isn’t always easy, and sometimes what may seem to be just the “teenage years” is actually more serious.

One in four young people are living with a mental illness and 9% of young people (16-24 years old) experience high to very high levels of psychological distress (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2007). People aged 18-24 years have the highest prevalence of mental illness of any other age group and youth suicide is the leading cause of death in young people aged 15-24 years (ABS, 2012) – from “Fact Sheet – Depression in Adolescents and Young People” by www.blackdoginstitute.org.au .

Knowing the difference between what may be an emerging mental health issue and the natural (but sometimes challenging) reactions that we experience in the transition between childhood and becoming an adult, is not easy.  Both parents and young people can often feel overwhelmed with conflicting advice, and the pressure to be the best they possibly can.  Finding out more about youth mental health and well-being is a good start to understanding your situation better.  A great source of information is the www.blackdoginstitute.org.au, an organisation focused on providing information, resources and community support in mental health.

If you have more questions or for more information about how this information might relate to your personal situation it is a good idea to make contact with someone like a Long Gallery Psychologist.   We can also help you understand the process of obtaining a referral from your GP and access to Medicare rebates for your sessions.

With early intervention and support, young people can develop positive coping skills and can learn to manage and overcome difficulties and challenges in their lives.  The Long Gallery Psychologists have a firm commitment to building a strong, positive, trusting relationships with all their clients, and work with them to understand and explore their world, discover their strengths and invent new ways of living well.