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Adolescence is a time of dramatic change. The journey from child to adult can be complex and challenging. Young people often feel tremendous pressure to succeed at school, at home and in social groups. At the same time, they may lack the life experience that lets them know that difficult situations will not last forever. Mental health problems commonly associated with adults, such as depression, also affect young people.
In this section, you will find information about the mental health issues that affect youth and suggestions about how you can support your children during their challenging transition to adulthood.

Children, youth, and depression

While we may think of low mood or other challenges as adult problems, they can affect people at any age. Children and teens can experience mental illnesses like depression. Sometimes it can be difficult for adults to understand how difficult children’s problems can be because we look at their problems through adult eyes. But the pressures of growing up can be very hard for some children. It’s important that we remind ourselves that while their problems may seem unimportant to us, they can feel overwhelming to young people. It’s important to take depression in young people seriously.

Youth and Psychosis: What Parents Need to Know

Something is wrong with your child. You can’t put your finger on it, but she is acting strangely. Withdrawn and sullen, she won’t get out of bed. She mopes around all day refusing even to take a shower or get dressed; this is really odd considering she used to be so picky about the way she looked. Sometimes she lashes out for no apparent reason, other times she walks around showing no emotion. Your gut is telling you that things are not right but your head refuses to believe this is anything but typical teenage behaviour.

Youth and Self-Injury

People cope with difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations in different ways. Some people cope by injuring themselves on purpose—and it may be the only way for them to feel better. Self-injury may seem frightening, but it’s important to look beyond the injuries and see what’s really going on.