Behavioral Health: Depression Awareness in Girls and Young Women

By 10/10/2016Blog

Depression among girls and young women calls for awareness among public, private, or community organizations

Girls and women are at highest risk for depression compared to their male counterparts.  According to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality 2012 report, diagnoses of depression triples for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.  The American Psychological Association publication titled, “Explaining the Gender Difference in Depressive Symptoms,” suggest the trend persists well into adulthood. For adolescent girls, puberty, transitioning from elementary to middle school, emerging sexuality, and increased conflict with parents may contribute to mood swings and depression. The change to adulthood is laced with another set of challenges, which include low self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, romantic relationships, and workplace stress.

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Depression and Adolescent Girls

The growing crisis of depression in girls and young women necessitates awareness by parents, guardians, teachers, school counselors, clinicians, and work supervisors.  Parents or guardians need to be aware of the symptoms of depression in their daughter(s) to ensure that help is sought and mental health issues are addressed in order to reduce the source of the depression. Depressive symptomology is not restricted to the home or school setting for young and adolescent girls. School counselors and clinicians are often the frontline providers for adolescent girls and must be cognizant of the ever-changing treatment modalities, given that treating depression in adolescent girls may require a different focus.

Depression and Young Adulthood

Depression is considered a chronic, progressive disorder that typically extends into adulthood.   As the problem persists, it may become a prevalent challenge in the workplace. For supervisors, employee depression may be uncharted territory. How do the supervisors balance professionalism, sensitivity, and Human Resource rules and policies with workplace culture while ensuring employee success and workplace productivity?  At what points must supervisors identify signs of abnormal workplace demeanor and refer employees for higher levels of resolution to mediate possible depression? What is an appropriate balance of workplace strategies that supervisors can use to assist employees with coping with depression in the workplace?

What are the first steps needed to help our daughters, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, female students, female clients, and female employees implement work-life balance? Becoming aware of the problem and knowing what the face of depression in girls and young women looks like is an important first step.

ARDX Raises Awareness to Address Gaps in Behavioral Health

ARDX believes strongly in creating innovative ideals that foster integrated systems of change to promote overall health and well-being.  This year’s 9th Annual Women’s Wellness Celebration is themed “Mental Health Matters: Opening Eyes. Opening Minds.” ARDX hopes to raise awareness and promote action about the mental health well-being of girls and women by integrating the roles of policymakers, community leaders, practitioners, and families.

It is worth everyone’s time to attend and hear expert speakers and panelists from varying local and national organizations address these modern day mental health issues. The information received at the Women’s Wellness Celebration conference will be life-changing. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

About the Author

Rolande Murray, PhD – Dr. Murray is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and Rehabilitation Counseling at Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD, and serves as a Behavioral Health Expert on the ARDX Healthcare Expert Advisory Board (HEAB).