Teen Mental Health Crisis: How parents can plant ‘SEEDS’ to help

The U.S. surgeon general says there is a "devastating" mental health crisis among teens in the U.S. Here are some ways parents can help support their teens' emotional and mental well-being.

Even before the pandemic, teens’ mental well-being had declined. The most recent Centers for Disease Control survey found 19.9% of all teens reported having seriously considered attempting suicide. Fifty-five percent reported having experienced emotional abuse at home.

The US Surgeon General says there is a “devastating” mental health crisis among American teens. Grades, friends, the future. There’s a lot that teens worry about.

“There’s been countless moments of depression, anxiety, imposter syndrome,” said Miami University student Amitoj Kaur.

More than one in three high school students experience persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness and one in six youth reported making a suicide plan in the past year. Experts say one of the best things parents can do is talk to their teen about their emotions.

“I just wanted to talk to you about how things are going. Even the new school year can be another great opportunity to say, you know, I just want to check in,” said Dr. Brandon Stratford.

A new guideline for parents also offers advice on how to support their teens’ emotional and mental health.

Parents may also increase positive emotions and manage difficult feelings by getting their teens to follow SEEDS.

SEEDS stands for Sleep, Exercise, Education, Diet, and Self-care. Practicing elements of SEEDS, such as self-care, which focuses on hygiene, can increase confidence, boost self-esteem, and reduce feelings of sadness.

The SEEDS guideline was created by Mind Chicago as an emphasis for kids to take care of their minds by taking care of their bodies. According to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a new three-digit dialing code is being launched on July 16. It is 9-8-8.