Common Challenges Facing Youth (Top 10 call topics)
Depression is incredibly common amongst children, adolescents, and adults. There are several symptoms and signs of depression. Symptoms of depression are unique from person to person. Common feelings and symptoms are apathy, physical pain, difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, loss of interest in food or compulsive overeating, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, and withdrawal from friends and family. In addition to talking to your doctor and close friends and family about your depression, please call the California Youth Crisis Line at 1-800-843-5200 at any time, we are here for you 24/7 to talk about your feelings and experiences. Depression is a treatable mental illness, many people benefit from many forms of treatment like therapy, medication, exercising regularly, eating healthy and sleeping regularly.
- Self Harm
Cutting is the self-inflicted violence meant to soothe, alleviate anxiety, and increase a sense of power and control. As the behavior escalates, it actually exacerbates feelings of disempowerment, alienation and helplessness. Studies show that approximately one out of every 200 girls between the ages of 13 and 19 practices self-mutilation regularly. Girls tend to be more prone to self-injurious behaviors but an estimated 11,000 American boys are also affected each year. If you or someone you know is cutting or causing self-harm, please call the California Youth Crisis Line.
Homeless youth come from all races and ethnic groups and from all parts of the state. They are often escaping personal danger or have been kicked out and told not to return. It is estimated there are 300,000 homeless youth at any given time in California alone and between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year in the United States. If you or someone you know is thinking about running away or if you are homeless, please call the California Youth Crisis Line.
Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth 15-24 in the United States. Find out the warning signs and talk about your feelings with someone you can trust. If you or
someone you know is thinking about suicide, please call the California Youth Crisis Line.
There are many types of bullying to be aware of such as cyber bullying, social bullying, verbal bullying, electronic or text bullying, and physical bullying. As defined by www.stopbullying.gov “Bullying is any unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” The behavior is also repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Cyber bullying which has become more and more prominent over the years is the intentional use of electronic communication to threaten, harass, embarrass, and socially exclude. A bystander is also an important role to remember in a bulling situation and is someone who watches someone get bullied and says/does nothing to stop or interfere. For children who are targeted, some key aspects to be addressed are protection from bullying, empathy, support in developing confidence and positive friendships, and help identify resources and support system(s). For children who are bystanders, one should address support in understanding the impact of bystanders, provide information about how to stop bullies and support for vulnerable peers. For children who are bullies focus on understanding impact of their behaviors, exploring ways to relate positively to others, and finding ways of achieving power and status through positive leadership. It is important to make sure victims of bullying have the necessary skills to cope with the effects as well as prevention. Bystanders may also need to seek help in understating what to do in these situations. If you, or someone you know is being affected by bullying please call the California Youth Crisis Line.
LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning or in other words someone who is not exclusively heterosexual. The majority of people identify as heterosexual/straight and cisgender, which means one’s assigned gender matches his or her gender identity/gender expression. Human sexuality and gender identity are not always easy to define into labels like “gay, straight, girl, boy” because many variation exists. LGBTQ youth are at an increased risk for some difficult life experiences due to homophobia, stigma and rejection. LGBTQ youth experience higher rates of bullying, and often hear homophobic remarks at school. A disproportionate percentage of homeless youth identify as part of the LGBTQ community and many have been kicked out of their homes due to family rejection. LGBTQ youth are more likely to have missed school because they felt unsafe. LGBTQ youth are also at a higher risk for substance abuse, homophobic victimization, depression and risky sexual behaviors. If you are want to talk about your LGBTQ-related questions, concerns or issues please call the California Youth Crisis Line 1-800-843-5200, we are a judgment free hotline, we accept and support all callers.
- Sexual Assault/Rape
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual act a person is forced to perform or receive. This includes, but is not limited to, rape. In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. (These figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger.) One out of four young women between the ages of 14 and 24 will be victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. If you or someone you know has been a victim of any type of sexual assault, please call 9-1-1, your local law enforcement, or your local medical clinic. If you want to talk to someone confidentially, please call the California Youth Crisis Line.
- Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a criminal activity in which people are recruited, harbored, transported, bought, or kidnapped to serve an exploitative purpose, such as sexual slavery, forced labor, or child soldiery. At any given time, 200,000 people in the United States are living as slaves in the hotels, restaurants, agriculture, commercial sex trade, and much more. If you ever suspect someone is being sold into any type of human trafficking, please call your local law enforcement as soon as possible. Find out more information on how you can help prevent human trafficking, check out the National Center for the Missing and Exploited.
- Teen Pregnancy
In 2013 the California teen birth rate was 23.6 births per 1,000 teen girls and in 2011 the teen pregnancy rate was 59 pregnancies per 1,000 teen girls. The birth rate includes pregnancies carried to full term, while the pregnancy rate is any pregnancy whether it resulted in a miscarriage, abortion, or a birth. California is also ranked 17 out of 50 for highest teen pregnancy rates in the United States. Although teen pregnancy has drastically decreased over the last couple of decades the rates still remain higher in America than in most other countries. Due to the young age there are many more obstacles a person encounters being pregnant as a teen. Both the baby and the mother are at risk in major areas of life such as school failure, poverty, and physical or mental illness. During pregnancy teens may be at a higher risk for high blood pressure, low birth weight, premature babies, and postpartum depression. It is crucial that these teens get the necessary prenatal care to ensure the healthiest pregnancy and delivery. Another thing that a pregnant teen may have to deal with is juggling the balance of schoolwork and a social life while raising the child. In addition, finances can be a big burden for a teen mom who,more than likely, hasn’t completed their education, isn’t settled on a career, and lacks savings. Overall, there are many options for one to consider when finding out they are pregnant such as abortion, adoption, and how to stay healthy when continuing a pregnancy. Talking about how to cope with a teen pregnancy along with finding the many resources available to teens that are pregnant is very important. If you, or someone you know is going through a teen pregnancy please call the California Youth Crisis Line.
Violence Relationship violence is the abuse between intimate partners, where one partner is using different types of abuse (i.e., physical, emotional) to gain power and control over his or her partner. One in five youth have experienced physical or sexual relationship violence in the United States. You are not alone and it’s not your fault. In dating violence, one partner tries to maintain power and control over the other through abuse. Relationship violence crosses all racial, economic and social lines. If you or someone you know is experiencing any type of relationship violence in a teen relationship, please call the California Youth Crisis Line.