Strong Relationships and Teenage Mental Health

How a strong relationships can help teens’ mental health

Strong Relationships and Teenage Mental Health

Erin Sweeney, Writer

Mental Health is one of the most important aspects of a person’s life, particularly a teenager experiencing the highs and lows of high school. The state of one’s mental health can have many different impacts on their life; the quality of their relationships, their grades, and even their performance in extra curricular activities. One of the most important ways to sustain and work on a teenagers mental health is by having strong relationships in their lives. Parents, friends, siblings, and significant others can be one of the most important tools to a teenagers mental health.

Photo Courtesy of Colorbox The Better Health Channel, a government run website, says in an article, “Proven links {between relationships and mental health} include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships.” Having strong relationships and people to rely on is one of the most important aspects to a teenagers mental health. It helps to build characteristics such as empathy and compassion, and also improves

confidence, which directly leads to a healthier mind. A strong relationship with someone else also encourages a more trusting nature in a teenager. Trust in others is essential in a young person because it helps to deviate from feelings of loneliness and isolation, direct causes of depression and anxiety.

The presence of healthy relationships in teenagers’ lives gives them a strong support system and someone to rely on. Relate, an organization aimed to help and improve relationships, says, “They give us a support network – people to talk to and loved ones we can rely on when things are difficult. They can help us to maintain perspective and just generally feel less alone.” In everyone’s life, there comes a time where they must face trials and tribulations, especially during high school and throughout growing up. One of the most important (and sometimes the only) ways to get through difficult times is by relying on a friend, a family member, or a significant other. A strong relationship can get teenagers through adversity by providing someone to talk to, a support system, and sometimes just a shoulder to cry on. They serve as outlets to provide feelings of safety and support.

Some of the most dangerous feelings that can lead to a poor mental state and depression are loneliness and isolation. The Mental Health Foundation, an organization devoted to preventing mental health issues and helping those who struggle, said, “Loneliness and isolation remain the key predictors for poor psychological and physical health. Having a lack of good relationships and long-term feelings of loneliness have been shown by a range of studies to be associated with higher rates of mortality, poor physical health outcomes and lower life satisfaction.” Going without relationships and support systems in any capacity can not only affect a teenagers mental health, but their physical health as well. Being lonely through times of struggle and going without people to rely on decreases quality of life and provides less energy for activity and interaction. Beginning lonely and isolated leads to a path of further loneliness and isolation, which contributes to a poor mental health.

One of the single most important parts of a teenager’s mental health is their relationships with friends, family, and significant others. Relationships build trust, empathy, and compassion in a person and contribute to feelings of inclusivity and happiness. Trusted friends and family are there through trials and tribulations that are faced during high school and in life, and help get teens through them. Strong relationships also help to prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation, feelings that are big contributors to depression and a poor mental health. As mental health is one

of the most important aspects in a young person’s development and life, it is essential to nurture relationships with the loved ones in their lives.