How To Talk To Your Teen About Mental HealthAugust 29, 2019
Teen depression and anxiety are on the rise.
In fact, The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 3.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds have had at least one major depressive episode within the past 12 months. Many of these teens don’t get the help they need which can cause even more problems.
So how do you talk to your teen about counseling and mental health in a world full of stigma, peer pressure, and judgment?
Discuss Normal Emotions
The teen years are a time of great transition. You might find your son or
daughter exploring their independence and developing a framework for how they view the world. Teens begin to “try on” different values and question why they believe the things they believe. This is a time of great potential but also a time of great stress.
Talk to your children about changes. From hormones to social pressures, teens can experience a wide range of emotions each day. Talk to them to help normalize the conversation around how they’re feeling. Setting up an open plan for communication can provide the support and guidance they need.
Talk About Depression Symptoms
Did you know that about 20% of adolescents will experience depression by the time they are an adult? It’s important to seek treatment for depression as quickly as possible if you are concerned about your teenager. Your teen may feel more overwhelmed than they ever have before. In fact, they may begin to feel hopeless.
As teen counselors, our staff has seen the healing impact of depression treatment. We know your teenager can get better. Therefore, we can communicate this to your child and help them on their path to feeling better.
*It’s important to note that any reference to suicide should be taken seriously. If a teenager has referenced suicide, it is important to seek professional assistance. If you are worried about your child’s safety, please error on the side of taking them to the nearest Emergency Room for an evaluation. The National Suicide Hotline also offers a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Respect Their Privacy
As parents, you want to know that your teenager is OK. On the other hand, teens might have a lot they don’t want you to know about. In fact, most teenagers have some secrets from their parents.
If your teen thinks that their therapist is going to report everything they say in counseling back to their parents, counseling will be ineffective. While our counselors understand your desire to know what’s going on, we also know that the best way to help your teen is to hold their secrets in confidence. Establishing trust is a solid foundation for any relationship.
Foundations Family Therapy offers a variety of mental health services at our Raleigh office. We want to help your entire family thrive.