Ways to Nurture Your Teen’s Mental Health
Mental health is something that can be very difficult to deal with when your teen is growing up. Many parents may feel like the mental issues that their teens are going through are simply just teenage outbursts. It can be difficult to delineate between outbursts and mental health issues in a teenager. This is why it is so important to research and understand how mental health can affect teens.
Understand the facts
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 75% of all lifetime mental health issues develop before the age of 24. With the majority of mental health issues starting this early, it is important to have intervention during the formative teenage years. Also, don’t feel like you are alone in this. Two in every ten teens will deal with mental health issues in their lives. 50% of teens with mental health issues end up dropping out of high school. 70% of teens in juvenile detention centers deal with mental health issues. Once you understand these facts, you will learn just how important it is to support your teen’s mental health as a parent.
Talk to your child’s school to coordinate with teachers and in-school therapists
High school teachers and therapists hired by the school district have been trained in supporting their students’ mental health. If you give them a heads up about the issues your teen may be dealing with, they will be able to make the necessary adjustments in their schedule and schooling in order to better support these issues.
Get the whole family involved
Anyone who is dealing with a mental health issue is going to need a strong support group. Getting your family involved will help to create a strong support group for your teen. There are obvious issues that will need to be addressed when your teen is dealing with mental health issues. Your family can get involved by creating a safe place at home where it is safe to talk about feelings. Siblings and parents can be a great support through these tough times that will take place in the teen years.
Realize that some of your behavior may be affecting your teen
A hard to pill to swallow can be learning that your behavior may be affecting your teen. While there are some things like getting laid off from the job that you can’t control, there are many other things that you can control. For example, if you have a short temper, you may need to attend anger management classes. You may also want to take a look at your own mental health. If you are dealing with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, your teen may really be picking up on your behaviors. It is important that you stay strong and healthy to support your teen’s mental health as a parent.
Address troubling thoughts before they get out of control
Sometimes it’s easy for parents to brush off troubling thoughts from a teen as hormones or outbursts. However, if you notice that your teen is telling you about troubling thoughts on a regular basis, you need to really address them before they get out of control. If you are hearing your teen tell you about suicidal thoughts, this is something that you must take seriously. Remember, suicide is the third leading cause of death between youths age 10-24. Get your teen the help that they need if they are talking about suicidal or other troubling thoughts.
Create a calm environment
As a teen, your world is quickly changing and full of many different stressors. The social and academic stress of going to high school can be a very difficult thing to deal with even when you are not dealing with any mental health issues. It is important to create a calm and loving environment at home. This will give your teen a chance to escape from most of the stress that they have to deal with on a regular basis.
It is important to have the proper timing when talking about mental health with your teen
Talking to your teen about their mental health is a very delicate thing. You need to make sure that you are choosing a time that is right to talk to your teen about their mental health. Choose a time where they seem fairly stable and open to new ideas.
It can be difficult to know how to deal with a teen who is suffering from mental health issues. However, as a parent, it is your job to support your teen’s mental health. Being patient and working with your teen can help you both get through this turbulent time together.
Learn more about supporting your child’s mental health during this crucial phase. Contact Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center today to schedule an appointment.