What Role Does Education Play in Youth Mental Health

What role does education play in youth mental health? Informing our youth is an essential part of helping them to develop mentally and emotionally. In the past, kids were not encouraged to speak up about their struggles. They were told not to cry, to be “seen, but not heard.” This misguided approach led to increased shame, isolation and loneliness. It also made untreated mental illness prevalent in our society. Today, we know that a mentally healthy individual is more likely to feel fulfilled in life. The more we educate our youth, the more comfortable they’ll feel opening up to others.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” and that certainly applies. However, when it comes to youth mental health, awareness is also power. Parents and kids need to know symptoms, signs, and how to ask for help.

Education Helps with Early Detection

If you don’t know you have a problem, how can you solve it? Some kids (and adults) with mental health issues believe their struggles are the “norm.” If they recognize that’s something is wrong, they may view it as a personal failure or a personality defect. Education helps kids understand that they are not alone. Their challenges are not unique to them; in fact, some of their closest friends could be facing the same exact problems. Education also teaches young people that asking for help is brave. The sooner they know about mental health, the sooner they can receive help.

Education Encourages a Safe, Open Environment

When youth mental health is prioritized, it gives way to universal understanding and acceptance. From there, more kids can feel safe sharing their innermost thoughts. When young people learn how to express themselves, it can even inspire them to pursue goals they wouldn’t have otherwise. Ultimately, no child should feel like their emotions need to be bottled up and hidden away. By educating kids and adults, we can bring youth mental health out of the darkness and into the light. We can also encourage kids to be themselves without apology.

Education Shows Parents and Teachers How to Address Different Mental Health Challenges

When we talk about youth mental health at Lead4Life, we don’t exclude adults from the conversation. Instead, we welcome them. For kids, their parents, guardians and mentors are their primary examples in life. Those examples can either be positive or negative. With proper education, parents and teachers can know what indicators to look for. A trusted adult is often the first source of help for a child who is suffering. When older individuals know what youth mental health issues look like, they’re more equipped to provide assistance. Furthermore, education introduces adults to various mental health challenges. Parents and teachers should be able to recognize and help with everything from anxiety to post-traumatic stress. However, being able to help doesn’t mean you should have all the answers. Knowing when to seek medical care is sometimes the most important thing you can do.

Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More about Youth Mental Health

Visit our website and check out our mentoring initiative for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.