Adolescence is a critical formative stage of life. The physical, social and emotional pressures that young people face make them vulnerable to various mental health issues. Domestic and sexual violence, bullying, peer pressure, and discrimination put adolescents’ well-being at even greater risk.
The past year and a half has been anything but normal. Above and beyond the well-documented effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, natural disasters, and increased political polarization have tested the resilience (perhaps disproportionately) of adolescents.
Numerous studies concur that the past year, in particular, has been difficult for adolescents. A recent 2021 report from Mental Health America, utilizing data from over 1.5 million people, highlights some alarming trends:
Strong mental health allows us to realize our full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work and study productively, and make meaningful contributions to our community.
Recognizing the impact of the pandemic and vulnerability of young adults, The Women’s Center is committed to expanding its adolescent mental health services. The Women’s Center currently serves over 5,000 people each year in the Greater Washington Area, helping those of all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and walks of life to heal and improve their well-being, regardless of their ability to pay.
Recent, generous funding is enabling The Center to hire additional therapists and provide augmented services for our Adolescent Mental Health Program. Our support includes a three-year grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation – an organization that supports nonprofits dedicated to addressing disparities in health care; the Fran Craig Grant from Unanet, named for company founder and long-time champion of The Women’s Center; and a donation by an anonymous donor. As a result, more teens can be helped, and wait times for services are shortened. Every dollar donated helps us to meet the increasing need in our community.
To learn more about adolescent mental health, please visit the following resources mentioned in this article.
Teens and families looking for mental health services can click here to learn more or to make an appointment for Adolescent & Teen Counseling at The Center.*
*If you are experiencing a medical or psychological emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.
While the past several months have definitely proven to be uncertain, and perhaps a bit frightening, the ability to get through tough times and recover more quickly from setbacks has always been one of the hallmarks of youth. Now more than ever, organizations, like The Women’s Center, are making a difference.
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