No. 1 America's Silent Problem
By Olivia de Guzman
by Olivia de Guzman on February 21
Despite endless links and numbers to mental health hotlines, American teens across the U.S. still struggle to find safe organizations or resources. While the introduction of 21st-century technology has greatly improved access to emergency healthcare services, these resources fall short when coming to mental health. According to the the Center for Health Journal, a nationwide plea for mental health providers in adolescent services has dramatically spiked in recent years. ChrisAnna Mink, a researcher and specialist in adolescent specialties finds the major reason that teenagers don’t receive proper care is because of “social stigma surrounding mental health problems...and for others who do look for help, it can be hard to find and even harder to pay for,” (Mink). Alas, a shining beacon of hope remains for the mentally struggling in America: online hotlines. For those in remote, underprivileged, and emergency situations, Mental Health Hotlines can save lives. However, finding resources on the web can be tough, and maybe even dangerous. Additionally, some are so overloaded, those in crisis will wait a couple hours before being contacted by a volunteer. That may be a couple hours too late. While the resources are out there, the internet can make finding these lifesaving programs difficult. Here are some things you can access, safe and free of charge.
The Center for Young Women’s and Men’s Health provides guides, tests, and real-time advice for a myriad of issues, from emotional to sexual health. (www.youngwomenshealth.org) (www.youngmenshealthsite.org)
The JED Mental Health Center gives tools and guidance for teens or young adults, especially concerning those in crisis. Accompanying their trusted resources, JED has a reliable crisis text and call system for those in need. (www.jedfoundation.org)
Beacon, an app and online portal founded and run by mental health professionals, is designed to sort and provide mental health resources in an easy and reliable fashion (https://beacon.anu.edu.au/)
For those who may feel lost, alone, and in need of guidance, HealthTalk can connect individuals with others who have overcome or deal with a variety of mental health issues. HealthTalk offers guidance, education, and support. (https://healthtalk.org/)
Although mental health awareness has slowly progressed, in 2019 alone, a person died of suicide every 40 seconds. Yet, the stigma around mental health still rages on. Emergency hotlines and organizations are at the forefront of fighting these statistics, but when these resources aren’t talked about, many find themselves lost in the fight alone. Starting the conversation on mental health may be difficult and scary, it's a dialogue that must be held. Speak out, educate, and advocate.