Mental health disorders are not limited to adults; in fact, according to recent studies, it is estimated that 1 in 5 teens suffer from a mental health illness. This is a staggering 20% of the teen population. That’s why this Talkspace review looks at what online therapy platforms may be able to provide.
The most common mental health diagnosis for teens include anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder, substance-abuse disorders, and eating disorders. Each of these diagnosis vary in symptoms and not all individuals react the same to each diagnosis. For example, individuals suffering from depression may actually be perceived as the class clown – a teens ability to communicate their true feelings is limited, so they often use various defense mechanisms that make them seem okay. Additionally, many teens who suffer from mental illnesses are often diagnosed with co-occurring disorders, meaning that they experience multiple disorders simultaneously.
The cause of mental illnesses in teens is similar to that of adults. Genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors can all impact a teens mental health. Major life events can also have a large impact on a teen’s mental health due to their inability to understand their personal emotional responses to specific situations. For example, a teen who moved to a new city or school, or a teen who is questioning their sexual identity, has an increased risk of a diagnosis.
One of the greatest challenges for parents is recognizing that their child is suffering and providing them help in a healthy way. Too often parents want to be the ones to save their children from the emotional harm they may be experiencing. But new research recommends that teens and adolescents suffering from such conditions be presented with the same opportunity for help as adults. Due to the mental and emotional development teens are experiencing, their ability to overcome or manage mental health conditions is increased when provided adequate help at an early stage.
Unfortunately getting a teen into a therapeutic space may be difficult. Due to pressures from friends and at school, they often feel ashamed of being different. Therefore, new methods of teen therapy are being introduced, providing teens with the ability to get help in a confidential way.
One of the most innovative therapeutic approaches available for teens is online therapy. Talkspace reviews point out that the app has introduced a platform that more teens can relate too which includes text-based messaging. This concept enables audio and video opportunities as well; however, with trends changing to more text-based communication for Generation Z (those born after 1996), this new approach is filling the gap in the industry, helping teens across the United States get the help they need.
According to Talkspace, “the objective remains the same: better mental health for all.” The only change is advancing the technology used to match the needs of the “younger, tech-savvy generation.”
How It Works?
Similar to that of adult text-based therapy, Talkspace for Teens is therapy via an app. Since this is a common and familiar form of communication for adolescents, it is an excellent way to introduce them to the idea of getting help for their mental health.
The first step is to download the app, sign-up, and answer some prompted questions. This gives the teen the control of setting up their user information and getting connected with a counselor. Once the information is submitted the teen is paired with a counselor depending on their responses. The final step to getting started is that the teen must upload a video of their parents approving the start of the therapy (suitable for teens ages 13-17). After the parent’s approval the teen is ready to start. Anything discussed between the teen and the counselor will be confidential – unless the teen appears to be in danger.
The teen can choose how to communicate. As mentioned, they can either send messages similar to text messaging, leave audio messages, or set up video conferencing, similar to that of facetime. The open communication between the teen and the counselor gives the teen a safe place to share their challenges and feelings, all while being educated on healthy methods for dealing with life events.
Benefits of Teen Therapy
While many parents view their teens challenges as normal adolescent responses to growing up, ignoring the signs of mental health disorders can have a lasting impact on the life of that teen. They will actually be at a higher risk of developing more severe issues later in life.
Providing a safe place for teens to express their issues can be life changing. Professionals are the ones that can assess the true severity of the issue’s teens are experiencing, and giving them the opportunity to share with an adult who is knowledgeable and experienced in the field can give them a head start to a healthy future.
Read more reviews to see another user’s experience with this app: Talkspace Review: There When I Needed Them