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Resources Specifically for Teen Girls’ Mental Health

Teen girls face unique mental health challenges. Find support, understanding, and tools to help cope.

It may start with the blare of your alarm announcing another school day. However, memories from last night’s late-night social media scroll still linger, leaving you feeling… off.

Memories of notifications from TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat flood back. With each swipe, you’re hit with scenes of seemingly ideal lives: friends at parties you weren’t invited to, influencers showcasing their ‘perfect’ moments, and that silent pressure to always measure up. So yeah, maybe you were up a little too late and didn’t get enough sleep.

And now, the morning rush begins. Your mind races. Is today the math test? Did I wrap up my English homework? And then there’s that daunting task of choosing an outfit – because it’s never just about the clothes. Choosing an outfit isn’t simply about fashion; it’s a balance between fitting in, standing out, and being authentically you.

Here’s the real deal: social media often showcases curated ‘perfect’ lives, setting sky-high standards. And we get it – you feel the immense weight of these expectations. Study after study reveals how it amplifies every insecurity and self-perceived flaw.

Teen mental health is in a fragile state, and, girl, we see you. We recognize that you might be feeling it more intensely. A CDC study found that 42% of high school students feel so overwhelmed by sadness or hopelessness that they pause their regular activities. And guess what? Teen girls felt this at a rate almost more than double their male peers.

So, if that all feels too heavy on your shoulders, remember this: you are not alone. We’re going to dive into some harrowing statistics to help show you that, but also how serious the situation is.

We want you to know every girl deserves to be celebrated for her unique spirit and essence. So rock that outfit, blast your favorite tune, and take a moment to breathe deeply. You got this, and we got you. We’ll further share some tips to help you take on your day.

The State of Mental Health for Girls Your Age

Before we unravel the data, it’s essential to understand this: being a teen girl today is not just about navigating high school hallways or curating the perfect Instagram post. It’s about facing – and surviving – a myriad of external pressures and internal battles often invisible to others.

Recent studies have illuminated the grim state of affairs for teen girls, especially when it comes to mental health and safety concerns.

A significant disparity exists between male and female students. Female students consistently report higher rates of substance use, experiences of violence, mental health issues, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors, according to the CDC. The difference is not just alarming; it’s vast and pervasive.

• Nearly 1 in 3 young girls seriously considered attempting suicide—up nearly 60% from a decade ago.

• More than 1 in 10 girls reported they attempted suicide in 2021, also increasing significantly over the decade.

• 1 in 5 girls experienced sexual violence in the past year—up 20% since 2017 when CDC started monitoring this measure.

• More than 1 in 10 teen girls said they had been forced to have sex—up 27% since 2019 and the first increase since the CDC began monitoring this measure.

• Roughly half of female college students constantly fear that they, or someone they’re close to, might fall victim to mass shootings or sexual assault.

A bit of context. These feelings among girls like you didn’t just happen because of the pandemic. It has long been made worse by recent global events like COVID and associated lockdowns.

Previous studies hint at the reasons why the mental health of teens might be worse: girls tend to internalize their negative emotions and resort to overthinking and harsh self-criticism as coping mechanisms. This mental stress can lead to burnout and severe self-critique.

Tips To Help Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

Given these challenges, here are some strategies and reminders to help navigate these pressures.

🌱🌟 Choose You: Prioritize your wellbeing. Simple acts can really add up. Sip a refreshing glass of water, jot down something you’re grateful for, or declutter a small corner of your room. Take moments to stretch and compliment yourself.

🌈 🛌 Recharge Routines: Recognize when you need a break – in real life and online. Notice who or what drains your energy. Set aside time just for you to rest and reflect. Use this time purely for relaxation and fun. On some days that looks like meditation. On others, watching the latest episode of a show, reading a chapter in a book, rehearsing TikTok dance, or a taking a walk in the sun.

🌟 😎 Embrace Your Uniqueness: We all have something special about us, and so do you. Don’t downplay yours. Maybe it’s how you laugh, your passion for a hobby, or how you show up for your friends.

Take time to recognize what makes you ‘you.’ Start a journal or a digital note to document things you love about yourself or unique experiences. Over time, revisit these moments and see how they’ve shaped the beautiful individual you’ve become.

🎨 🎬 Channel Creativity: Sometimes you just don’t want to talk. But there are some great ways to channel your feelings into creativity.

• Build a playlist filled with songs by powerful female artists. (If you need a starting point, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation has a great playlist of songs to inspire mental wellness.)

• Try journaling. Writing offers an outlet to navigate your emotions. Remember, it isn’t about being a perfect expression. It’s about getting those feelings out.

• Art therapy can really help. And it doesn’t have to be hard for those who consider themselves artists. Maybe it’s doodling, even on the back of old receipts. Perhaps you like to sketch. It could be photography on your phone, or using free apps to color and take your mind off things.

• Creating your own inspirational mood board can also set a positive tone and give you something to return to on tougher days. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Cut out what inspires you from old magazines, newspaper or flyers.

🗣️ 🙋🏽‍♀️ Seek Support in Relationships: Sometimes, you just need that person you trust to let it all out. Maybe you need advice, or maybe just vent. Let them know what you need. Lean on whoever it is that makes you feel most safe and comfy. Maybe it’s that BFF who just gets you, but it could also be a cousin, aunt, or teacher who you feel more comfortable with. It can be hard to bring up things about our self-image or self-confidence, dating, or feeling comfortable in your own body, but know that these women may have experienced similar feelings and can offer suggestions.

👩🏽‍🤝‍👩🏻 💫 Draw Inspiration From Other Females: Dive into the experiences of inspiring women. Connect with the openness of figures like Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, and Demi Lovato, who have candidly shared their personal challenges. They may have an entirely different life than you, but they’re also using their platforms to share some mental health or self-confidence issues they’ve had. And normalizing that can help you understand there’s a tribe to support you and remind you we’re in this together.

🧍🏾‍♀️👩🏼‍🦽Understand Your Body: Teen years come with lots of changes for girls. Some evident, some subtle. And those changes can be different for different girls. Do your best to try and understand how those changes may impact your mood. During this time, it is essential to focus on your sleep, hydration, food, and exercise. Remember, exercise can be anything that helps you move, celebrate, and empower your changing body.

Additional Resources To Improve Your Mental Mealth 

Mental Health Is Health: This MTV initiative emphasizes that mental wellbeing is as crucial as physical health. The campaign encourages open discussions about mental health, connects individuals to vital resources, and inspires proactive mental health actions.

They have an extremely helpful starting point for teens like you. Click here and scroll down and start by picking from a feeling or experience you are going through and get helpful tailored tips. We also really like their section on how to be there for a friend in need and their Mental Health 101 page.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): This organization is a fantastic resource for diving into support and education about the impact of mental health, including a comprehensive list of resources for young adults. NAMI helps break down options for teens on how to find help, help your friends, and talk to your parents.

NAMI recently launched a free, nationwide Teen & Young Adult (T&YA) helpline. You can connect with trained peers who have gone through situations just like you and help provide support and information. You can text, call or chat with them Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM ET.

GirlsHealth: This dedicated platform for young females is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and has some great interactive tools, quizzes and top tips on body basics, nutrition, and managing stress to digital communication and understanding relationships.

Disclaimer: This website offers general information and is not a substitute for professional advice. We are not clinicians or trained professionals; this information should not replace seeking help from a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.