BACK in Stock: Mood Magnesium 🙌 😴
How to Support Youth Mental Health: World Teen Mental Wellness Day 2024


How to Support Youth Mental Health: World Teen Mental Wellness Day 2024

March 2nd is World Teen Mental Wellness Day. Sadly, over the past few years, teens have experienced an alarming increase in mental illness in the U.S.

Young adults ages 18 to 25 in the U.S have the highest rate of experiencing any mental health concerns (33.7%) compared to adults aged 26 to 49 years, and the highest rate of serious mental illness (11.4%).

The youth mental health crisis can be overwhelming, but if we all took one small action, together we could make a huge difference.

Luckily, there are more resources and information than ever before on mental health. And you can make a huge impact in a teen's life just by being a supportive listener! 

Read on to learn statistics about what is driving the teen mental health crisis, how to talk to your child about their mental health, and resources for support.

Recognizing warning signs of teen mental illness

Did you know that 50% of all people who will have a mental health disorder in their lifetime start to experience symptoms by age 14? Here are some red flags to look out for:

  • Notable changes in sleep, weight, eating habits or other everyday patterns

  • Poor personal hygiene

  • Loss of interest in the things 

  • Withdrawing from friends, family and community

  • Canceling plans a lot

  • Academic struggles 

  • Constant anxious thoughts

  • A whole new set of friends

  • Refusing to talk about what's bothering them, even after you've made it as safe as possible to discuss hard issues openly

  • Obsession with a certain goal, possibly with the belief that if they don't achieve it, their life will never be the same

  • Signs of drug, alcohol or other substance use

  • Signs of self-harm such as cuts, burns, bruises, etc. that your teen tries to hide or can't explain fully and credibly

  • Sexual activity or interest that seems new or more intense than before

    Leading causes of teen mental health crisis

    So what's behind this sharp decline in teen mental health? On top of the overwhelming pressure to figure out their future, get good grades or gain admission to elite colleges and universities, research points to a plethora of other stressors teens face:

    Social Media

    Children and adolescents who spend more than 3 hours a day on social media face double the risk of mental health problems including experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety (Source). This is concerning as a recent survey showed that teenagers spend an average of 3.5 hours a day on social media (Source).


    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2021 (post-pandemic) report found that among girls, 30% said they seriously considered attempting suicide, double the rate among boys and up almost 60% from a decade ago.

    Fear surrounding mass shootings, climate change & global conflict

    There were 656 mass shootings in America in 2023. On top of recent surges in depression, anxiety, and suicides, a majority of teens now say they worry about a shooting happening at their school (Pew Research Center, 2018). Those concerns have been linked with elevated anxiety levels and fear among students (O’Brien, C., & Taku, K., Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 186, 2022). 

    GABA and other nutritional deficiencies

    A study found significantly less levels of GABA in the brain of adolescent teens diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) compared to controls.

    How to support your child's mental health

    If you're noticing the warning signs, you are probably also wondering how you can help your child.

    If you think a child or teen is in immediate danger of taking suicidal action, call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. The trained crisis counselors can help you find local resources or suggest next steps.

    If you don't think they're in immediate danger, try these tips:

    Keep communication open and honest

    It’s important that your child knows they can approach you with any issue, and that they will be received and listened to with love and support. Simply letting them know that you are there to support and listen to them without judgment can increase the likelihood that they’ll come to you when they have a problem. 

    Provide resources

    Your child may not feel comfortable talking about it with you, and that's ok. Offer them other resources for support such as a therapist, counselor, books, or hotline. You can find many resources and more information from the youth mental health nonprofit Bring Change to Mind.

    Provide positive feedback and encouragement

    Kids and teens love to receive positive feedback and learn that they’ve done something well. Knowing they’ve done something well increases feelings of pride and confidence, which can stick with a child long term. In addition, providing positive reinforcement for behaviors will often encourage children to repeat that behavior.

    Encourage healthy habits

    Diet, exercise, and reducing stress are huge factors in mental wellness. As best you can, encourage a nutritious diet, joyful movement, reduced screen time, a regular sleep schedule, and rest. 

    PYM x Bring Change to Mind

    Zak Williams, Olivia Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Bring Change to Mind, Glen Close

    PYM Co-Founders Zak and Olivia Williams created PYM after struggling with their own mental health, following the loss of family members to suicide. They found the amino acids GABA and L-Theanine to be extremely effective in supporting their mental wellness, and wanted to make this natural, safe and effective mental wellness solution available to more people.*

    But the true mission on our hearts is to break the mental health stigma. That's why we are so proud to partner with Bring Change to Mind, a mental health nonprofit that supports youth. 1% of all PYM proceeds goes towards supporting Bring Change to Mind! 💚

    *Please consult with a doctor before supplementing with GABA or L-Theanine. Mood Chews are intended for children ages 14 and above.