It can be difficult to know how to support a teen who is dealing with mental health issues. Every teen is different, and what works for one may not work for another. However, there are some general tips that can help you provide support for your teen and help them get the care they need. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the top pieces of advice on how to support your teen’s mental health.
Know the warning signs
One of the most important things you can do to support your teen’s mental health is to be aware of the warning signs of mental illness. Many teens will try to hide their symptoms or downplay how they are feeling, so it is important to be observant and look for any changes in behaviour or mood. Some common warning signs of mental illness in teens include:
- Withdrawing from friends and activities
- Changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Mood swings or drastic changes in mood
- Outbursts of anger or violence
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Absences from school on a regular basis or low academic performance
- Giving away prized possessions
- Talking about death or suicide
If you notice any of these warning signs in your teen, it is important to reach out to a mental health professional for help.
Promote open communication
Another important way to support your teen’s mental health is to promote open communication. Let your teen know that they can come to you with anything, no matter how big or small. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings with you, and let them know that you are there to listen without judgment.
It is also important to be open about your own mental health with your teen. Sharing your own experiences can help normalise the discussion of mental health and make it easier for your teen to open up to you.
Seek professional help
If you are concerned about your teen’s mental health, it is important to seek professional help. A mental health professional can assess your teen and provide them with the necessary care and support.
If you are not sure where to start, you can ask your primary care physician for a referral to a mental health professional. You can also contact your insurance company to find out what mental health services are covered under your plan.
Online professional services
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of online professional services that can help support your teen’s mental health. These services can provide your teen with access to mental health care from the comfort of their own home.
One of the most popular online professional services is Betterhelp. Betterhelp is an online counselling service that connects individuals with licensed counsellors and therapists. It offers a variety of mental health services, including individual counselling, couples counselling, and family therapy. If you are considering using Betterhelp to support your teen’s mental health, you can read a Betterhelp review to learn more about the service. Another online professional service that you may want to consider is Talkspace.
Talkspace is an online therapy service that offers a convenient and affordable way to receive mental health care. It provides individuals with access to licensed therapists through text, audio, and video messaging.
Develop the right boundaries
It can be difficult as a parent to establish boundaries with your child, especially when they are going through a tough time. However, it is important to have clear boundaries in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your teen. Explain to them why you are setting certain limits and be sure to listen to their point of view. Establishing mutual respect is key in any parent-child relationship.
It is also important to be there for your teen when they need you. Be available to talk to them and listen to what they have to say. Showing them that you care about their feelings and experiences can make a world of difference. Offer your support and let them know that you are there for them, no matter what.
Work through conflict together
Giving your teen space to work through their emotions is important, but so is being there for them when they need you. If you feel like your teen is shutting you out, try to have a calm conversation with them about what’s going on.
You can also offer to see a therapist together. Whatever you do, make sure that your teen knows that you’re there for them and that you love them. If your teen is dealing with mental health issues, it’s important to be supportive.
Don’t be dismissive
If your teenager comes to you with a problem, don’t be dismissive. It’s important to listen to what they’re saying and take it seriously. Try to understand their perspective and offer support. Let them know that you’re there for them and that you’ll help them through whatever they’re going through.
It’s also important not to be overbearing. If you try to take control of the situation or tell your teenager what to do, they may feel like they’re not being heard or that their feelings are being invalidated. Instead, let them know that you’re there for them and offer support and guidance. Allow them to make their own decisions and respect their privacy.
Supporting a teenager with mental health issues can be challenging. There will be good days and bad days. Be patient and understanding. Offer support and encouragement, but don’t try to fix everything. Just being there for your teenager can make a big difference.
Promote living a healthy lifestyle
It’s important to encourage your teen to live a healthy lifestyle. This means eating nutritious meals, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. Help them to avoid drugs and alcohol, which can make mental health problems worse. Teach them healthy coping skills for dealing with stress and anxiety. And finally, make sure they have a support system of family and friends on who they can rely on.
If you’re the parent of a teenager with mental health issues, it’s important to be supportive. You can do this by establishing clear boundaries, being there for them when they need you, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Just remember to be patient and understanding. Your teenager needs your love and support.
Mental health is something that is often overlooked but it is so important, especially for teenagers. As a parent, you can make a big difference in your teenager’s mental health by being supportive and encouraging healthy coping skills. Just remember that you are not alone in this journey. There are many resources available to help you and your family.