Supporting Youth Mental Health
October 05, 2023
On September 13th in a crowded theater at CPCC, Dr. Harold Koplewicz joined Dr. Kuroski-Mazzei for a conversation on the current state of adolescent mental health. While this topic can be overwhelming and (at times) disheartening, Dr. Koplewicz used humor and honesty to drive home several points. His years of experience and the numerous accolades for his work and innovation in the field of psychiatry are equally as impressive as his passion for mental wellness and his deep-rooted belief in recovery.
As the Founding President and Medical Director of Child Mind Institute, Dr. Koplewicz has seen, through his own direct practice and Child Mind Institute’s research that evidence-based treatment works. As he reminded us that night, “Americans are good at change”. We have seen monumental societal changes when it comes to wearing seatbelts and using tobacco, and he knows the same changes can occur with mental health.
- Half of mental health disorders begin before age 14 and 75% by the age of 24.
- On average, people wait 8 years after recognizing a mental health concern to seek professional treatment. 8 years!
- Research has proven that the earlier treatment occurs the better the outcomes because the younger brain is more elastic.
- Evidence-based treatment is proven to be effective and doesn’t take a lifetime to work. Oftentimes, 12 sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and one year of medication can mitigate the individual’s symptoms.
- Know your child. Take the time to truly know your child. This way if an issue arises, you will be aware of concerning changes in their behavior.
- Start talking to your kids about important topics early. Peer groups gain influence in adolescence, but parents never lose influence. If you wait until they are 14 or 15, you may have already lost them.
- It is important to remember that mental illness is the most common child/adolescent illness and with proper treatment and diagnosis kids can get better.
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