Adolescent physical and mental health concerns are on the rise: Here’s what we can do

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the last few years have presented challenges for all of us. Children and adolescents have been no exception to the physical and mental health concerns that are on the rise.  

In fact, a recent study(1) looked at mental health issues in the college student population and found:

  • 41% have been diagnosed with mental disorders, but only 29% of students reported seeking care. 39% suffer from depression
  • 34% suffer from anxiety disorder

At the same time, many students have limited access to mental health providers. 

At UCM Digital Health, we have a solution. We are able to reach patients of all ages, genders, and demographics, through virtual care that can be accessed with a phone call or by going online. This eliminates the access issue and provides patients with confidential, quality healthcare when they need it. We provide ongoing care and ensure recovery with our care coordinator team that handles follow-ups, like help to book a follow-up appointment.

In addition to our team of emergency medicine-trained physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, we also have a team of providers specialized in treating pediatrics and adolescents, including those with primary care and mental health care expertise. Our team can uniquely treat children holistically, with a personalized approach that considers both their physical and mental health needs. 

Our providers are ready to address adolescent and young adult (11-26 years old) concerns head-on. 

Here are some of the ways that we can help with issues that are specific to adolescents and young adults (11-26 years old):

  • Education and reassurance – a health professional to talk to, confidentially, to address questions and provide educational and other resources.
  • Mental health concerns – access to counselors who partner with psychiatrists when additional treatment is needed.
  • Primary care – wellness checks, routine preventative screenings, labs and imaging, and more.
  • Sexual and reproductive health – STI testing and treatment, contraception counseling, prescriptions for contraception, referrals for IUDs, and recommended vaccines such as HPV.
  • Specialized care – eating disorder treatment and care for other conditions more prevalent in this age group.

What UCM offers for adolescents and young adults:

  • Confidential care
  • A non-judgemental space to discuss questions or concerns
  • High-quality care without the high costs
  • The convenience of getting care virtually – we are a phone call or a click away; avoid a trip and the wait time to get to student health or to the doctor’s office
  • Friendly, approachable, compassionate providers specially trained to work with adolescents

Dr. Laura Joseph, MD

Contributing Author

Dr. Laura Joseph, MD, is double board-certified in general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Following residency and fellowship training, she has over twelve years of clinical experience working with pediatric and adolescent patients. Her specialty areas include reproductive and sexual health, long-acting reversible contraception, mental health, and college health.  She currently treats UCM Digital Health patients across the United States from her home in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Joseph has a degree in Biology and Society from Cornell University and attended medical school at NYU School of Medicine.


  1. The Healthy Minds Study, Fall 2020 Data Report