The teenage years are when people begin developing mental health problems. As the brain and body begins changing, and the stress of an approaching adult life starts building up, there is no doubt that many teens develop anxiety, depression, or possibly get into drugs. Here are some ways you can talk to your teens about mental health.
Therapy for Teens
While your teen may have a school counselor they can talk to, online therapy allows a teen to get help while anywhere. Sites such as ReGain.us can help your teen maintain optimum mental health. Check out online therapy today and see if it’s good for you.
Don’t Trust the School to Do It
While schools teach about mental health, sometimes they overlook some aspects, or present outdated information. Don’t think you need to teach your teen about mental health just because there is a school who can do it for them.
Don’t Come Across as Condescending
If your teen seems depressed or anxious, don’t sound condescending. For many jaded, middle-aged adults, it’s a bit hard to empathize with your teen. “Oh, what do they have to worry about? They aren’t dealing with bills, a bad back, and stress. They have a home food, and entertainment free of charge.”
Throw this mindset out of the window. Think back to when you were young and the challenges you may face. Then, try to think of the challenges through the lens of social media and other challenges a teen may face. By relating to your teen, you can talk to them about their mental health much better.
End The Stigma
If a teen feels depressed or anxious, they may believe that it’s something to be ashamed of. Instead, they should realize that everyone feels anxious, depressed, or down at times, and it’s not something to be upset about. Tell your teen that it’s okay to express their emotions, and come across as nice when they want to do so. Your teen can be able to go back to school with a mindset that will help them with all their challenges, both academic and social.
Show the Importance of Mental Health Professionals
When it comes to mental health, therapy is a great solution, but many teens may be skeptical of them. They may feel like a professional can’t relate, or that the professional is going to spill all of their secrets to their parents.
There are many youthful professionals who can relate to teens, and they will all keep secrets. A teen can safely express how they feel without being judged and without the tattle tell aspect.
Discourage Drugs and Alcohol
The teenage years are when a teen starts experimenting a bit. Drugs and alcohol may feel like a release from their emotions, but at any age, they aren’t the solution, especially for a person who is still growing. Yes, it can be hard to discourage drugs and alcohol and not come across as an uncool finger wagger, but it’s something you need to do.
Also, don’t be a hypocrite. Don’t tell your child that they can’t get into drugs while you're drinking wine and smoking a cigarette. Try to handle your own vices first.
Be There for Them
Really, the best way to help a teen’s mental health is to be there for them. Always have a vacation plan handy. Always be ready to do a new activity. If your teen has a future career idea, give them tools to help them be interested. For ideas on how you can do this, click here or go here.