[A note to the reader: This article discusses information about relationship abuse, teen dating violence, and suicide. The content may activate strong feelings for some individuals.]
It is no surprise that the mental health effects of domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA) can be devastating for those who have endured the trauma of relationship abuse. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and substance use can all have lasting effects on survivors of controlling relationships and sexual violence.
Mental Health Awareness Month, observed each May, is focused on supporting those affected by mental illness by providing support and resources, and educating our communities and spreading awareness of the dynamics of mental illness. As so many survivors of relationship abuse are also impacted by subsequent mental health effects, Wellspring is committed to providing free, confidential, trauma-informed programs and services to all.
Mental health is a particularly important subject when it comes to teenagers. A recent study by the CDC found several alarming statistics about how teenagers are gauging their mental health: more than half (57%) of female teens struggle with feeling persistently sad or hopeless. Nearly 1 in 3 teen girls reported that they had seriously considered suicide – a number that has increased almost 60% over the last decade. Additionally, 1 in 9 teen girls experienced dating violence just within the past year.
With many of these statistics continuing to rise, it is more crucial than ever to proactively support teens’ mental health and educate our community about the prevalence of teen dating violence and its long-lasting effects.
How Can I Help?
If you or someone you know has been impacted by relationship abuse and struggles with their mental health, approach them with L.O.V.E.:
- Listen to their story with a nonjudgmental ear.
- Offer resources and your support to let them know that you are there to help.
- Validate their feelings. Let them know you believe them.
- Empower them to make their own choices on their journey to healing.
How Does Wellspring Help?
Wellspring has a free 24/7 hotline, a web-based chat, and offers counseling as well as education and prevention programs to help put an end to teen dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual assault.