Mental health challenges facing young minds today

Updated on May 1, 2024

We all want to raise happy and healthy children. Sadly, many parents fail to recognise the importance of positive emotional wellbeing in their children. Something which is just as important as their physical health. Developing strong mental security throughout their early years and adolescence can help prepare children for the challenges they’ll face as they grow into adults. Unfortunately, growing up with stable mental health isn’t always straightforward, especially in today’s demanding world. 

The way the world is today and how we live our lives has a direct influence on the experiences we have, which means traumatic events are more likely to trigger a negative mental health reaction. Teenagers, in particular, are at risk of developing mental health issues, including addictions and behavioural problems. And worryingly, many of these issues go unnoticed by parents until they manifest into damaging behaviours.   

Of course, it’s reassuring to know that help and support are available in various forms, for both parents and for adolescents. There’s a wide range of charitable organisations that are dedicated to mental health awareness. Or reaching out to your child’s doctor and seeking medical intervention could also be an option. For some families, when their child’s mental health is beginning to impact their daily life, or it feels as though there’s no way out, dedicated centres such as Yes We Can Youth Clinics provide a warm, safe and unique approach to residential treatment, with tailor-made counselling and aftercare programmes. It makes sense to find the right approach for your child and their mental wellbeing. 

So, what kind of mental health challenges are facing young minds today? Read on to find out more. 


When we think of mental health issues and addiction, it’s easy to picture the gambling, drinking and drug issues that plague adults. Worryingly, teens and adolescents are also becoming dependent on these kinds of substances and behaviours, often as a means of coping with an underlying problem. The most common addictions in young people today include:

  • Gaming
  • Social media
  • Drugs (including cannabis)
  • Sex
  • Gambling 
  • Alcohol
  • Eating


Feelings of isolation, despair and loneliness can plague anyone of any age, and there has been a sharp rise in the number of adolescent cases. It can be caused by a number of triggers including physical or sexual abuse, negative social events or even a family history of mental issues. Recognising the symptoms of depression is crucial. They could include any of the following:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Thoughts of death/suicidal tendencies
  • Feelings of worthlessness/hopelessness
  • Inability to function
  • Changes to sleep patterns

Aggressive behaviour

Aggressive behaviour can build up for several reasons. Maybe your teen wants to mask their own insecurities or they want to be in control. Failing to take the feelings of others into consideration is a common symptom of aggressive behaviour in teens. Other signs include:

  • Swearing
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Vandalism
  • Bullying
  • Inability to control anger
  • Violence

Reach out

If you’re concerned about your teens’ mental health, and you feel trapped in a vicious, worrying cycle. Reach out for help as soon as possible. 

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