Mental illness can impact anyone, whatever their age, and different factors can affect people as they progress through life.Childhood and adolescence are important times for physical and mental development, and understanding the importance of positive mental health for overall good health and well-being throughout a person’s lifespan is vital.
According to a report published by the National Library of Medicine in 2022, almost 20% of children and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 17 in the United States have disorders relating to mental, emotional, developmental or behavioural conditions. The report also notes that, according to data taken in 2019, suicidal behaviour among high school students substantially increased by over 40% in ten years.
Possible Changes in Mental Health as People Get Older
As people age,theymay have experiences that have an impact on their mental health. For example, some women may struggle with their mental health as they become mothers. Depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder may come to the surface during, or after, pregnancy. Mothers could also experience birth-related post-traumatic stress disorder or, sometimes, postpartum psychosis.
Women going through menopause may experience low mood, anxiety, problems with memory and concentration, panic attacks, mood swings, low self-esteem, or new fears and phobias. These symptoms can be caused by hormonal changes and lack of sleep, which can also make the symptoms worse. Additionally, some of the physical changes thatoccur through this time can also affect the way women feel about themselves, their confidence and self-esteem.
As people grow older, they can experience other changes in their lives that can have an impact on their mental health. For instance, they could be coping with a serious illness or the loss of a loved one. While many people adjust to these changes, some may experience persistent feelings of grief, isolation or loneliness that could lead to mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety.
Different Approaches to Counselings Different Age Groups
The way that a person approaches counseling will vary depending on the individual, their circumstances and, often, their age. Children may not be able to communicate as effectively as adults when discussing their feelings, for example, so it may be necessary to involve the entire family in the process of learning,creating and communicating boundaries in relation to the young person being assisted.
Children are more likely to learn by doing and, if they are very young, it can be effective for them to work with their family: drawing, playing and talking. Older children and teenagers may be asked to share activities and ideas that will focus on learning the skills they need, andto talkthrough feelings in order to solve problems.
The Surgeon General’s Advisory report on ‘Protecting Youth Mental Health’ has outlined some recommendations to improve mental health among young people. These include, recognizing that mental health is part of overall health; ensuring that every child has access to high quality, affordable and culturally competent mental health care; and supporting the mental health of children and young people in educational, community and childcare settings by expanding and supporting the early childhood and education workforce.
The type of therapy used to help pregnant and postpartum women varies depending on the concerns each woman is experiencing. Some women find the stress of motherhood and the responsibilities it brings very difficult and may find it helpful to join a support group and talk to others in a similar situation. Couples therapy could also be useful for those who find a new baby is adding challenges to their relationship. It can enable them to voice concerns or areas of disagreement and resolve issues in their partnership. Parents or single mothers who don’t have any support may be able to find resources and help in developing a support network through therapy.
For perimenopausal and menopausal women, counselors may recommend charting, for example, and give clients a list of symptoms and ask them to note the ones they experience over a month. This can help to focus on an individual’s specific problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective for symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and problems with sleeping.
Symptoms of mental health issues in older adults can include changes in mood, energy levels or appetite. They can also include feeling flat or finding it difficult to feel positive emotions, experiencing ongoing headaches, digestive issues or pain, or the misuse of alcohol or drugs.
Counselings can help older adults who find it difficult to manage their emotions as they age and encourage them to find new sources of meaning and enjoyment as well as new support systems. It can help people face a fear of death, and deal with grief as family and friends pass on. Family or individual therapy can also help family members who are looking after their older relatives and assist them in dealing with their emotions or communication issues.
Older people may be accessing help for mental health concerns for the first time asthey may have grown up in a time when mental health issues were stigmatized, and any problems faced by seniors were regarded as the result of aging or dementia. They may, therefore, also be addressing issues from childhood or early adulthood.
Getting the Right Qualifications to Become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor
The steps to becoming a licensed mental health counsellor vary between US states but generally students begin their studies with an undergraduate degree in a counselings-related subject like sociology or psychology. They will then progress to a master’s degree. People wishing to study for a mental health counselor degree online, and then an online Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) can do so at American International College (AIC). AIC is based on an integrated curriculum that trains students to be well-versed in theory, clinical skills and research. It also meets the educational requirements for a licensed mental health counsellor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and similar professional designations in other states.A dedicated advisor is available to answer any questions about the course. In order to earn their mental health counselings license, students must gain hands-on experience through graduate and post-graduate internships under the supervision of licensed counsellors. They subsequently need to pass the licensing exams in order to take the next steps in their counselings career.A person’s mental health is important, no matter what age they are; mental health counsellors are integral cogs in the medical machine that ensures all people have access to high-quality affordable and patient-oriented care.