The mental health crisis among teens has prompted an urgent quest for preventive interventions. Researchers believe they have one. As the team explains in a recent study, the 30-minute online training module teaches teenagers to channel their stress responses away from something negative that needs to be feared and tamped down towards recognizing those responses — sweaty palms, a racing heart, for example — as a positive driving force.
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), reports that, among youth with substance use and depression, a significant proportion show early improvements in depression during their treatment for substance use. Youth who are using cannabis less frequently prior to treatment and those without conduct disorder are more likely to experience early depression improvement.
While previous studies have reported young people worrying about the impact of lockdown on friendships, nearly half of those who reported improved mental wellbeing say they felt less left out and lonely and have better relationships with friends and family. In part, this may be because access to digital forms of social interaction can mitigate the negative effects of reduced face-to-face contact. With many parents and caregivers at home, there was also potential for improved family relationships.