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Addressing Distress in Teens Essay

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At the end of 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Healthy People 2020 yearlong goals and objectives. This is comprised of 42 topic areas that the government believes should be priority in enhancing the health of all within society3. Among the health objectives are Social Determinants of Health, Mental Health and Mental Disorders, and Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-being3. Although there has been much information and research on certain mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, little research has been done on distress. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, psychological distress is defined as “A range of symptoms and experiences of a…show more content…
Also, those within the age 18 to 25 range were half as likely to access mental health services than any other age range4.
The problem that we are trying to address is distress has adverse long-term effects on the developmental well being of high school teens. The onset of mental disorders in adulthood because of distress experienced by the age of 14 is 1 out of every 2 adults, and the onset for mental disorders in adulthood that occur because of distress experienced before the age of 24 is 3 out of every 4 adults13. As a consequence of high levels of distress, many other risky health behaviors have developed among the youth population such as alcohol and substance abuse and other co-morbid health issues such as anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder (ADH), and attention hyper active disorder (ADHD)14. Negative events have a stronger effect on those with low social support from peers within the youth population, aged 13 to 19, and even stronger negative effect on those with low social support from families16. If these problems are not addressed early on in a person’s life, they shall grow up with unnecessary psychological and mental disorders that could negatively impact their development and waste their potential contributions to their families and society.
We propose a program, Addressing Distress in High School Students, aimed to improve high school student’s relationship building skill set as a means to cope with distress.
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