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Resource Category: Adolescent & Teen

By Rabbi Sandra Cohen | Forgiving myself is always the hardest part. Inside, I feel I failed. But, if I step back, or I step up on the balcony to see the pattern my life has taken, it is hard to realistically to believe I botched my life. Instead, I want to proclaim the wonders of my college years, the things I learned and the faith I discovered. All of these helped to get me to where I am now, with a life full of blessings.
Written in Partnership with In the City Camps: One in six youths, ages 6-17, experience a mental health disorder each year. Anxiety and depression are prevalent among children. Between 2016 and 2019, an estimated 9.4 percent of children from 3 years old to 17 (approximately 5.8 million) were diagnosed with anxiety and 4.4 percent (approximately 2.7 million) with depression.While we do not yet understand the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, we know it had a significant impact on children’s mental health. From March 2020 to October 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency department visits for mental health crises increased 24 percent for children from 5 years old to 11 and 31 percent for those from 12 to 17 compared with the same period in 2019.
Written in Partnership with In the City Camps: Helping your child develop good coping skills will benefit them throughout their life. Building strong coping skills is helpful for all children and especially for those navigating mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety. Here are some tips on fostering a supportive environment at home.
Written in Partnership with In the City Camps: Despite increased awareness of mental illness among their caregivers, many children and teens are still struggling with untreated or undertreated mental health issues, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Approximately 14 percent of 10- to 19-year-olds currently are experiencing a mental health condition such as depression and/or anxiety.
The Young Leadership Cabinet of the Orthodox Union developed a documentary, "Hungry to be Heard", focusing on the rising rates of anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders in our community. It aims at providing educational awareness, prevention, and approaches to eating disorders and is available for guided screenings as part of a conference, communal program, or as a stand-alone presentation.
Finding the right team is crucial in mental health treatment! But what does this even mean? It is essential to have support from positive relationships with therapists, psychiatrists, school, work and family members. 
Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is a primary treatment method for anxiety (National Institute of Mental Health). It involves discussing one’s worries in a directed manner with an expert to relieve anxiety. While “talk therapy” is practiced currently, Jewish tradition has long recommended a similar approach to alleviate mental distress.