At the City of Salem, we have been promoting National Teen Self Esteem Month. We want the teens in our community to know their value.
Being a teenager isn’t easy. New demands are put on them socially, academically, and financially that is all part of growing up. Some teens can become overwhelmed and find themselves feeling less than their peers. They may feel they are falling short of their idea of who they should be. We want to remind our youth of their value and that we are all uniquely made, important contributors to society, including our teens.
According to LifeWorks Well:
- 20 % of teens suffer from depression before reaching adulthood.
- 30% of depressed teens received help for their depression.
- 75% of girls suffering from low self-esteem act out in a destructive manner by cutting, eating disorders, drinking, smoking, etc.
- 7 out of 10 girls believe they do not measure up in some way – academically, physically, performance, relationally.
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of deaths in Indiana among 15–24-year-olds. Only trailing behind motor vehicle accidents.
- A teen commits suicide every 100 minutes.
- Over 5% of teens admit to substance abuse.
There are several ways that we can help boost teen self-esteem. Encourage them. Build them up. Send them a letter telling them how valued they are. Share the positive things you see them doing.
Keep open lines of communication with them. Ask them what they like about themselves and encourage them to look at the positives. Urge them not to fall into the comparison trap. Talk to them about the dangers of social media. Remind them that social media is not always reality.
Finally, model healthy habits for teens to help improve their self-esteem. Let them see the importance of taking care of oneself. Encourage them to get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and exercise. We all feel better when we are taking care of ourselves.
If you have serious concerns with your teen’s self-esteem or well-being, we encourage you to call your doctor or pediatrician. The National Suicide Prevention lifeline also provides a resource to get help for teens and individuals in distress. The lifeline is available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
As we look toward the fun events that May holds for our youth with the beginning of summer, the City of Salem encourages you to invest in our teens. Give them your time. Listen to them.
Show them you care. Remind them not only during National Teen Self Esteem month, but every month, how valuable they are.
— Salem Mayor, Justin Green