Iris Healing® Retreat, Woodland Hills, CA

Fostering Mental Health in Young Adults

Read on to discover strategies or coping skills for mental health young adults that they can foster and utilize to stay healthy for the long run.

mental health young adults

Article Contents

Mental Health in Young Adults Today

Mental healthcare has become a critical priority in today’s fast-paced, ever-evolving world. This is especially true for fostering strong strategies for mental health in young adults. This makes the concerns of mental health young adults face more complex and crucial than ever before.

Young adulthood is a pivotal stage of growth and self-discovery that presents its own unique set of challenges. Various elements of life can impact a young adult’s mental health. 

Physical, social, and psychological factors can contribute to their emotional well-being. Mental health is an important factor in our overall well-being. 

What to Expect From This Article

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the overall factors of mental health young adults endure. We’ll explore the unique mental health challenges faced by young adults. 

This article will also explore the potential consequences of untreated mental health issues during young adulthood. Making sure that young adults receive adequate care and support for their mental health is imperative for overall wellness. 

Mental Health Young Adults: Unique Mental Health Challenges Faced By Young Adults

Young adults are individuals approximately aged 18 to 26. This particular demographic faces various unique mental health challenges. This is a pivotal period in their lives where they undergo significant transitions.1
Some examples include starting college, beginning a career, or moving away from home.

These changes, while exciting, can also provoke stress and anxiety. They can also potentially cause or exacerbate mental health issues. Here are some of the most significant mental health challenges faced by young adults:

Transitional Stress

Young adults frequently experience significant life changes. These transitions can potentially cause mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Identity Formation

This stage of life is crucial for identity formation. Struggling to define one’s identity or grappling with self-esteem and self-worth issues can lead to mental health problems.

Peer Pressure and Social Challenges

Young adults may face significant peer pressure. This is often related to substance use, sexual activity, or risky behavior. It can lead to stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

Academic and Career Pressure

The pressure to succeed academically and start a successful career can lead to excessive stress, anxiety, and sleep problems.


Romantic relationships, break-ups, and navigating the complexities of adult relationships can provoke emotional distress.

Financial Stress

Managing finances for the first time can also create significant stress and anxiety. 

Substance Use

As many young adults go out into the world on their own for the first time after turning 18, many experiment with substance use. This can potentially lead to mental health or substance use disorders.

Digital Overload

Constant connectivity through technology and social media can contribute to feelings of anxiety. It can also contribute to depression and isolation.

Addressing the Challenges of Mental Health Young Adults

Addressing these challenges is crucial for several reasons. Some of the most important reasons for treating the struggles of mental health young adults face include:

Early Intervention

Mental health issues often start in young adulthood. Early intervention can lead to better outcomes. It can also prevent more severe mental health issues in the future.

Foundation for Future

Young adulthood is a time of laying the foundation for future life roles. This includes roles such as career-building and family responsibilities. Promoting good mental health can help set a strong foundation for adulthood.

Development of Healthy Habits

This period is crucial for the development of healthy lifestyle habits. This includes those related to mental health. 

Fostering resilience, stress management, and self-care skills can promote long-term mental health and well-being.

Education and Career Impact

Untreated mental health issues can impact a young adult’s academic performance and career trajectory. Thus making addressing these issues crucial for future success.

Prevention of Substance Use Disorders

Mental health issues can lead to substance use as a form of self-medication. Addressing mental health issues can prevent the onset of substance use disorders.

How Does The Transition from Adolescence to Young Adulthood Impact Mental Health?

The transition from adolescence to young adulthood is a pivotal developmental phase in one’s life. This period is often referred to as emerging adulthood.
Here’s how this transition can influence mental health:

Independence and Autonomy

Adolescents begin to take on more responsibilities as they transition into young adulthood. They also make significant decisions about their education, relationships, and lifestyle.

This newfound independence and autonomy can be liberating. However, it can also bring stress and anxiety.

Identity Exploration

Young adulthood is a critical period for identity formation. Young adults often grapple with questions about who they are, what they value, and their place in the world. This exploration can lead to confusion, self-doubt, and identity crises, impacting mental health.

Academic and Career Pressures

This phase often involves academic pursuits like college or trade school and the initial stages of a career. The pressure to succeed academically and vocationally can lead to stress, anxiety, and even burnout.

Social and Relational Changes

As adolescents transition into adulthood, their social relationships evolve. They may leave old friends behind, form new friendships, and navigate romantic relationships. 

The potential for social isolation, relationship breakdowns, or difficulties creating new social connections can contribute to loneliness, depression, and anxiety.

Lifestyle Changes

This stage of life often involves changes in sleep patterns and diet. This can negatively impact physical and mental health. 

Navigating Healthcare Systems

As young adults move away from the support systems of home and school, they must navigate the adult world. This includes finding and managing healthcare. 

This can be particularly challenging for those with mental health issues transitioning from pediatric to adult mental health care services.

Common Disorders of Mental Health Young Adults Face

Young adulthood is a crucial developmental period in a person’s life that carries unique mental health challenges. 

Here are some common mental health disorders or concerns that young adults may experience:


Young adults often experience major depressive disorder. This depression is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness. 

It is also marked by a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, changes in sleep or appetite, fatigue, and even thoughts of suicide. It’s crucial to take these symptoms seriously and seek professional help.2

Anxiety Disorders

This category includes generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. It may also include social anxiety disorder and specific phobias.

Some common symptoms include excessive worrying, restlessness, and trouble concentrating.3


Substance Use Disorders

As young adults gain more independence, some may experiment with alcohol or other substances. These can have severe long-term effects on both mental and physical health.

Eating Disorders

This includes conditions like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. They often first appear during young adulthood. 

They’re characterized by unhealthy behaviors related to food and weight. They are often associated with severe physical and psychological consequences.

Bipolar Disorder

This disorder involves periods of unusually intense emotion. It also includes changes in sleep patterns, activity levels, and unusual behaviors. 

These distinct periods are also known as mood episodes. They are drastically different from the moods and behaviors typical for the person.


Schizophrenia typically emerges in late adolescence or early adulthood. It is characterized by disruptions in thought processes, perceptions, and social interactions. It’s often associated with hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking or behavior.

Borderline Personality Disorder

This disorder is characterized by unstable moods and behavior. It is also marked by intense fear of abandonment, impulsivity, and feelings of emptiness.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Young adults who have been exposed to a traumatic event may develop PTSD. This condition is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, and emotional numbness. Trauma-informed therapy can help young adults work through these distressing symptoms for overall healing.4

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is typically diagnosed in childhood. However, symptoms can continue into adulthood. They include trouble paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. 

There are multiple ways that a mental health counselor can help young adults develop coping strategies for ADHD symptoms. 

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors. These obsessions and compulsions can interfere with most aspects of a young adult’s life. Getting help to manage OCD symptoms is imperative for many young adults. 

Resources and Services Available For Helping the Mental Health of Young Adults

There are numerous resources and services available that can be tailored to address the struggle of mental health young adults face. Depending on the individual and their symptoms, some of these resources may benefit some more than others.
However, some of the most common resources and services available for helping young adults during their mental health struggles include:

Counseling Services

Many universities and colleges provide on-campus counseling services. These services are specifically tailored to young adults. They are often linked to common stressors like academic stress, peer pressure, and transitioning into adulthood.

Also, depending on young adults’ healthcare plan, they can continue to see therapists or counselors from their teenage years. They may also find one off campus through a community center or other provider. 

Online Therapy Platforms

These platforms offer digital mental health services. Examples include video chat therapy, messaging therapy, and self-guided therapy modules. They are more accessible and convenient for tech-savvy young adults.

Peer Support Groups

These are often organized by colleges or community mental health organizations. They provide a space for young adults to connect with others experiencing similar mental health challenges. These offer a sense of camaraderie for many students who feel alone or isolated. 

Youth Mental Health Services

Specialized mental health clinics and services offer tailored treatment plans. They have professionals trained to deal with this age group’s unique challenges. 

These clinics or treatment centers are equipped to help individuals work through the stressors that young adults face.  

mental health young adults

Finding Help and Healing at Iris Healing

Finding the proper healthcare treatment for mental health is important to ensure lasting well-being. Iris Healing is a compassionate and comprehensive treatment center that can support you.
Our specialized services are tailored to meet young adults’ unique needs and experiences, offering a safe and understanding environment to embark on a healing journey.

How We Can Help

At Iris Healing, we prioritize your well-being, starting with our treatment team’s expertise. Your mental health treatment will be overseen and guided by experienced and compassionate clinicians with extensive experience in mental health care. 

Our clinicians are highly qualified and dedicated to helping young adults like you find relief and growth in their mental health.

Iris Healing’s Commitment to Mental Health Support

We understand that mental health is not just about addressing symptoms but nurturing all aspects of your well-being. 

Our holistic recovery approach integrates spiritual, physical, and emotional elements to promote comprehensive healing. 

In addition to addressing mental health challenges, we also emphasize the importance of nurturing your spiritual and physical health.

Therapies We Offer

Through various evidence-based therapies, counseling, and supportive group sessions, we aim to empower you to lead your best life. Some types of therapy we offer include:

    • Art therapy
    • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
    • Dialectical behavior therapy
    • Family therapy
    • Relapse prevention
    • Trauma-informed therapy

At Iris Healing, we recognize that being a young adult can come with its unique stressors and life transitions. 

Our treatment approach acknowledges these factors and offers tailored interventions to help you navigate these pivotal moments in a way that promotes mental well-being and resilience.

Why Choose Iris Healing?

You don’t have to face your mental health challenges alone. Iris Healing is here to support you every step of the way. 

Our caring and knowledgeable team is committed to helping young adults like you find hope, healing, and a path to a fulfilling life. 

Reach out to Iris Healing today and take the first step towards a brighter future for your mental health.

Take Control of Your Mental Health Today

Learn more about strategies for mental health young adults can foster at Iris Healing. 

Contact us today to start your mental health journey.

Related Content