Good news for all of those teens out there that love to read, but get called nerds for it: reading is great for teen mental health! In a recent CNN article, the merits of reading were discussed. It’s been found that reading books can actually improve teen mental health through allowing individuals to further understand themselves, the people around them, and even work through personal issues.
How reading improves teen mental health
Nowadays, it’s extremely rare to see a teen out in the open reading a book instead of staring at their phone–yes, they could be reading a book on their phone, but odds are it’s Buzzfeed, not Hemingway. Perhaps it’s time to change that because of the multitude of benefits reading proposes.
In the article, the author interviewed a woman named Alison Kerr Courtney. People come to her with issues and she prescribes books to help them work it out. Now this isn’t the answer to depression or anxiety or serious teen mental health issues, but it is a healthy way to cope with challenges in life. Her clients describe her choices as being extremely helpful in self-discovery and issues they’ve faced in their life–issues like grief.
In a recent study, it was actually found that reading fiction improves an individual’s emotional intelligence, allowing them to not only understand the inner-workings of their own minds, but others as well. Specifically fiction that is character-focused instead of plot-focused, because it allows us to see the inside of someone’s mind–though they’re made up–and understand why they do what they do.
Getting your child to read more
Because reading has the power to significantly help with teen mental health, it would be fantastic if all children read; this is hard if parents don’t know how to motivate their teens to pick up a book and read. Oftentimes, individuals don’t read because the only books they’ve been exposed to have been in school–they haven’t found the right one yet. They haven’t found the book that will ignite their motivation for reading.
A great way to start them off on this would be to ask what they’re interested in. For example, if they’re into magic, maybe ask them if they’d be interested in Harry Potter or other fantastical books. There is a book for every person, they just have to find it.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18, grappling with depression, anxiety, trauma, and other emotional or behavioral problems. We strive to help our girls develop healthy habits for teens and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness.
For more information about how Solstice East improves teen mental health, please call 828-484-9946.