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Mask Mandates and Teen Mental Health: What to Look Out For

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We are just finishing out a record high year for teen suicide rates, teen stress, and teen depression. Adolescents aged 12-17 years old had the highest rate of major depressive episodes this year, followed by young adults 18 to 25 years old. With these numbers, virtually every teen knows someone close to them who is experiencing feelings of stress or depression.  

Mask mandates in California could not have come at a worse emotional time for teens. They have already had a difficult time coping with the pandemic and adjusting to a different world than they once knew. Masking up teens may exacerbate feelings of loneliness, sadness, or negativity because they have been compounded with this facial barrier of unsociability. The holiday time can bring out the worst emotions in anyone, even adults, so we must pay close attention to our children.

Parents, even though you may believe that you know your teen inside and out, it is possible you may be missing signs of depression.

Sometimes you must look harder, ask more questions, and observe how they respond to you.

Here is a list of the most common symptoms of depression. Let’s take a closer look into your teen’s lives, habits, and moods, to find out if they are experiencing any of the following:

  • Sadness
  • Overall tiredness
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Unhappiness
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Frustration
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable or fun activities
  • Sleep issues (too much or too little)
  • Low energy
  • Craving unhealthy foods or sudden change in diet
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation

If you are noticing any of these symptoms in your child, then it may be time to act. Talk with your teen about how they are coping with emotions in their life. Spend extra time with them and get to know the core of their personality once more.

As children grow older, their personalities, values, and moods continue to evolve.

Seek help from a Family Therapist and use all resources available to you. Don’t be afraid to ask your child about how their friends are doing or about their friend’s emotional state. Your teen may be more willing to talk about someone else rather than themselves. Sometimes they want to mask their own thoughts from you but are willing to share feelings in third-party ways.

A Brighter Day Charity has been helping teens and parents for the last six years. So much terrific information can be found at, and we look forward to hearing from you.

If you are in a state of emotional emergency with yourself or your teen, please dial 211 anytime for help.

On behalf of the Kallen Family and your team at A Brighter Day, we wish you and your family a terrific New Year in 2022 filled with brightness, love, hope, family, and friends.

Family Holiday and Happy New Year Photo

All my best,


We have published all types of terrific articles at under the “Get Help” tab. 

For more information, please browse the ABD blog, filled with lots of actionable tips for dealing with the difficult and stressful parts of teen life.

Wishing you a terrific, safe, and healthy end of the 2021 year and a fresh start in 2022.

Sincerely yours,


Elliot Kallen

President, a brighter day charity

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