Depression and any other mental illness doesn’t care about how old you are. Teenagers suffer from mental illness like adults do. Just because you’re a teenager doesn’t mean that your depression is a phase. Teenagers can have clinical depression and it is extremely real. It isn’t fair to judge them that way, to believe they can’t have mental illness because they are young. Teens can have a mental illness just like any other person. Teens seek out counseling just like adults do. Sometimes their parents are the ones to navigate that process but that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering themselves.

Depression is real. Anxiety is real. Teenagers experience these issues just like any other individual out there.

Don’t discount young people’s mental health issues. Don’t silence them. Believe them when they tell you they are hurting. Listen to them when they say to you that they don’t want to exist. What a frightening thought to have as a young person. And yes, depression can make you feel that bad. If a teenager is telling you that they are having suicidal thoughts this is serious. This needs to be addressed and they should speak to a mental health professional. It may not be easy to talk about, but it could save their life. Depression doesn’t have to win, and we (as adults) have the power to help our young people stay alive by getting them the mental health treatment that they need. It’s a powerful thing to help someone stay on this planet, and we can do that by finding teens the right resources to stay well. Don’t be afraid to talk about the hard issues: depression, self-harm, and suicide. These are real problems and they hurt our youth. We can help.

We as adults have the ability to help our young people stay well. We have the power to help save their lives. Let’s use it.