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Introduction to adolescent mental health
Introduction to adolescent mental health

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8 Summary of Session 3

The main learning points of this session are:

  • A helpful way of thinking about mental health is that it exists on a ‘spectrum’ representing anything from healthy functioning through ‘coping’ and ‘struggling’ to becoming ‘unwell’. People can move along this spectrum in both directions.

  • Anxiety and depression are emotional responses to life’s challenges, in which a young person begins to find it increasingly difficult to cope and may be struggling. Listening and encouraging the young person to talk about their difficulties is an important first step in helping.

  • Eating disorders and self-harm can become habitual ways of coping with emotional distress. Recognising these problems at an early stage can mean the young person receives professional help sooner. Parents, teachers and other caregivers can all play a role in breaking the cycle of harm.

  • There is risk of suicide in young people who are struggling with their mental health, and the WAIT! Suicide prevention advice can help you to intervene if you are concerned about someone.

Finally, listen to Tanya Byron summing up some of the issues you have considered in this and the previous sessions.

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Audio 1: Interview with Professor Tanya Byron
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