Podcast Episode 2: Middle School Mental Health

Middle school. Where you are supposed to “just be a kid” then “you are a teenager now” all in just a few years. On the second episode of Not Now, Maybe Later, our guest is Elizabeth Cunningham, a Sweetser school-based clinician who works with middle school students. She delves into mental health entering the teen years.

Middle school is a key time for mental health issues like anxiety and self-esteem problems to show up. One large study found that the average age for mental health disorders to start was 14.5 years old, with over a third of adults with a mental health diagnoses having symptoms start before age 14.

On this episode, we will reveal some developmental headlines for this age, like “the dilemma” and “the spotlight effect”. You will hear ways to find your trusted adults and start conversations about what is really coming up in your inner life. And since recognizing something is off might be new, we want you to hear where you can look for help. Two websites that are recommended: NAMI – “Kids, Teens, and Young Adults” page, and seizetheawkward.org.

About the guest:

Elizabeth Cunningham, LCSW is a clinical social worker for Sweetser in southern Maine who currently works with students at a middle school and adults in the outpatient setting. Elizabeth graduated from Arizona State University with a Master’s degree in Social Work, and has an undergraduate degree in Family and Child Development from the University of Central Oklahoma. Elizabeth has experience working in Domestic Violence Prevention, Parent and Family Education, Inpatient and Residential care, and Case Management and utilizes these experiences to provide education, resources, and a holistic approach. 

Podcast is also available on Spotify and SoundCloud.