GLASTONBURY, CT (WFSB) - Mental health can be crippling on our teens.
Research shows there's been an uptick over the last 10 years in depression, anxiety and other issues for them and young adults.
Randi Cunningham describes the darkest, lowest valley in her life as a teen.
“Hopeless is a big one. Pain, you know, I didn’t think I could talk to my mom at the time,” Cunningham said.
The Cheshire 20-year-old spent years in and out of therapy starting at six for sexual trauma.
By middle school, she experienced depression and anxiety.
In high school, she encountered substance abuse and self-harm.
Her mother kept trying to get her help.
“Newport [Academy], I believe, was my sixth in-patient treatment when I was 17,” Cunningham said.
Newport Academy is a residential program working with young people on mental health issues, eating disorders and substance abuse.
Vice president of clinical outreach, Kristin Wilson, sees firsthand what their clients are dealing with.
“So, in addition to school and peers and parents, teenagers are dealing with the constant interface social interactions on social media, video games, things where technology is invading their personal lives,” said Wilson.
Research reveals this can lead to anxiety, depression and self-esteem issues.
To give you a glimpse into the impact of mental health on teens, studies have shown roughly 20 percent of adolescents have diagnosable mental health disorders.
“One in five diagnosed which means many more than that are actually struggling,” said Wilson.
It's why Newport Academy hosted a conference in Glastonbury tackling this with clinical professionals.
Together, the group is looking for more success stories like Cunningham.
She now works for the treatment center where she's helping young girls get through dark times.
For more on the Newport Academy, click here.