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Why Mental Health Advocacy Is Important

Approximately 1 out of every 5 teenagers in the United States has suffered from at least one or more mental health disorders. With that number only increasing, it is hard to overlook the fact that mental health is becoming a greater issue now than ever before. Being a teenager is challenging, you are demanded to do greatness and that adds on a lot of stress very quickly. School is hard, relationships are hard, finding who you are as an individual is hard, figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life at ages 17 or 18 is hard, and sometimes, not intentionally, that is easily overlooked by adults and other peers. However, when those stressors are not acknowledged appropriately, they can lead to much larger problems like mental health disorders. Various factors can cause and/or contribute to the development of mental illness, and while it may be different for each person, suffering from a mental health disorder can have a significant impact on one’s life and overall wellbeing. Which is why it is so crucial to advocate and provide resources for teenagers when it comes to their mental health. Some teens struggle going to their parents or friends when they are struggling in fear of judgment or dismissing their feelings, thus, having those resources whether it be a school counselor, a therapist, a hotline etc. can help teens cope and come up with a plan to better control their life. 50% of all lifetime mental health issues start by age 14 which is why researchers believe that brain changes in adolescence increase a teen’s vulnerability to depression and anxiety which means that providing them some sort of outlet is essential as this is a topic that can be hard for them to advocate themselves. As we continue to focus on mental health and what it looks like at all ages in a public way instead of behind closed doors, we break stigmas and dissolve fears. Having those tough and emotional conversations is nerve wracking for everyone involved, but providing teens with proper resources and outlets pivotal into caring for their mental health. Mental illnesses isn’t an uncommon disorder for people of all ages, but the number of people who suffer from them can greatly decrease. Advocating for this issue will not only spread awareness, but it could possibly save many lives as well. Here at IvySky we know this and that's why we are working on mental health advocacy and destigmation. In addition, we are developing Mental Health resources but from our perspectives a teens to better help our peers.

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