LIBRARY

Browse the latest

boy standing on edge of abyss

I Answer the Phone at a Mental Health Hotline. Here’s What I’ve Learned.

“Oh my, you picked up the phone.”

The caller sounded genuinely surprised and held her breath for a moment before telling her story. For more than a year, she and her husband had been largely trapped in their home by their 25-year-old son, who suffered from psychotic episodes. He refused any treatment, he had been making threats, and most nights he holed up in his room doing drugs while his parents tried to sleep behind their double-locked bedroom door.

“Is there someone who can come out to help us?” she said. “I mean, what do we do?”

I didn’t have a quick answer. It was my first call at a brand-new volunteer job.

When a family is upended by a suicidal son, a bulimic daughter, addiction or psychosis, it’s a rare person who knows whom to call for help or even how to ask. Try searching online, and you’ll no doubt find an assortment of out-of-date directories, random advice and dicey-looking services that may or may not provide what’s advertised.

lonely teen

Loneliness in youth could impact mental health over the long term

The review, which synthesizes over 60 pre-existing, peer-reviewed studies on topics spanning isolation, loneliness and mental health for young people aged between 4 and 21 years of age, found extensive evidence of an association between loneliness and an increased risk of mental health problems for children and young people.

"As school closures continue, indoor play facilities remain closed and at best, young people can meet outdoors in small groups only, chances are that many are lonely (and continue to be so over time)," said lead author, Maria Loades, DClinPsy, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath, UK.

"This rapid review of what is known about loneliness and its impact on mental health in children and young people found that loneliness is associated with both depression and anxiety. This occurs when studies measured both loneliness and mental health at the same point in time; when loneliness was measured separately; and when depression and anxiety were measured subsequently, up to 9 years later," Dr. Loades added. "Of relevance to the COVID-19 context, we found some evidence that it is the duration of loneliness that is more strongly associated with later mental health problems."

teens hands

Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show

About a year ago, teenager Anastasia Vlasova started seeing a therapist. She had developed an eating disorder, and had a clear idea of what led to it: her time on Instagram.

She joined the platform at 13, and eventually was spending three hours a day entranced by the seemingly perfect lives and bodies of the fitness influencers who posted on the app.

“When I went on Instagram, all I saw were images of chiseled bodies, perfect abs and women doing 100 burpees in 10 minutes,” said Ms. Vlasova, now 18, who lives in Reston, Va.

Around that time, researchers inside Instagram, which is owned by Facebook Inc., were studying this kind of experience and asking whether it was part of a broader phenomenon. Their findings confirmed some serious problems.

emergency entrance hospital

Parents Often Bring Children to Psychiatric E.R.s to Subdue Them, Study Finds

For emergency room doctors, they are a dispiriting and familiar sight: Children who return again and again in the grip of mental health crises, brought in by caregivers who are frightened or overwhelmed.

Much has been written about the surge in pediatric mental health emergency visits in recent years, as rates of depression and suicidal behavior among teens surged. Patients often spend days or weeks in exam rooms waiting for a rare psychiatric bed to open up, sharply reducing hospital capacity.

But a large study published on Tuesday found a surprising trend among adolescents who repeatedly visited the hospital. The patients most likely to reappear in emergency rooms were not patients who harmed themselves, but rather those whose agitation and aggressive behavior proved too much for their caregivers to manage.

In many cases, repeat visitors had previously received sedatives or other drugs to restrain them when their behavior became disruptive.

Scroll to Top