It is normal for children and youth to experience various types of emotional distress as they develop and mature. For example, it is common for children to experience anxiety about school or to experience short periods of depression that are impermanent in nature. If symptoms persist, it may be time to seek professional assistance. While most youth are physically and emotionally healthy, one in every four youth in the general population meet the criteria for a lifetime mental disorder and as a result may face discrimination and negative attitudes in their adolescence.
As with physical health, mental health is not merely the absence of disease or a mental health disorder. It includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It involves having the ability to navigate the complexities of life successfully, develop fulfilling relationships, adapt to change, realize their potential, have their needs met, utilize appropriate coping mechanisms to achieve well-being without discrimination, and develop skills that help them maneuver through the different environments they inhabit.