HANNIBAL – Growing up is all about having fun with your friends. Many teenagers have suffered mental health problems due to the disruption of school’s rhythm.
Today, the 25th Annual Teen Health Fair was hosted by the CHART Teen Task Force in downtown Hannibal.
The event featured booths that addressed safety and health for teens and mixed fun with learning.
Hannah Powell was happy to be with two of her friends at the CHART Teen Taskforce, something she does every single year. Powell was just finishing high school when she experienced the pandemic, which threw a curveball into her and her peers lives.
It affected many people, not being eligible to graduate and not being allowed to go to school. Everything was delayed and you couldn’t do it in-person, Powell stated.
It wasn’t easy for her to start college.
Powell stated that it was not easy to make friends once you start.
Rhonda Byers (Marketing and Community Development Director, Mark Twain Behavioral Health) stated that they have seen a rise in teens coming to see them since the pandemic. They had a booth at today’s event, and the theme was Hope.
Byers stated, “We just want people to feel hopeful when they don’t have any hope.” This is when depression can strike.
Rhonda said teens today are under pressure because of social media.
Byers stated that teens can take with them many things from their childhood to adulthood.
Byers advises that any teenager dealing with mental health issues must not suffer in silence.
Byers stated that parents don’t have to talk about it with their children.
Powell stated that now that restrictions have been lifted, life is becoming a little easier. Having a support network is important during difficult times.
Powell said that I had a lot of help from my family and friends. They helped me to stay on track because it’s easy to lose your way when you’re not held accountable.
Byers suggested that if your teen is becoming more isolated, dropping in grades, or changing their sleeping and eating habits, they might need to talk to someone.
Mark Twain Behavioral Health offers a 24/7 crisis hotline at 800-356-5395
You can also call 800-273-TALK, the national NAMI hotline.
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