Podcast: Emotional functioning in the transition from childhood to adolescence, and beyond
This week, Dr. Nick Allen joined the Association for Child & Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) in conversation, to address early life stress and its impact on the life transition between childhood and adolescence. Using his research from the Center for Digital Mental Health and our work at Ksana Health, he takes a solution-based approach - highlighting developmental resilience and digital innovations in behavioral analysis research. Dr. Allen asserts that, by putting emphasis on the adolescent period as its own developmental phase, we are able to better "understand the change in the epidemiology of mental health problems that occur during early to mid adolescence."
While analyzing the negative influence of socio-economic deprivation on patterns of brain development during adolescence, he notes the reversal of negative impacts for those with positive and healthy family environments. He says,
"Even though early life stress can have this negative effect, there are still opportunities to right the ship particularly if the environment during the adolescent period is good both in terms of the family environment, the peer environment, the healthcare environment, etc."
Ksana Health is building the tools that will meet adolescents where they are - using cell phones and wearable devices to provide personalized insights on how an individual's behavioral patterns impact their mental health. In addition, we aim to reduce the friction and stigma of working with a mental health care practitioner, by building tools for practitioners to intervene in times of crisis, taking the therapy plan out of the office and into people’s day-to-day lives. By utilizing these methods, we aim to improve the mental health and emotional development of adolescents and adults alike. These insights drive our work at Ksana Health, where our goal is to "right the ship," and to empower individuals to create unique and positive environments where they can truly be their best selves.
Listen to the whole podcast here.