Children experience mental health issues as much as adults can. Stress, anxiety, and depression are common among teens and anyone in their 20s, 30s, and older.
If you are unaware of the signs or know your teen/young adult is dealing with mental health problems, here is how to help them.
Book them in for mental health sessions
There are many pathways to go down when it comes to seeking help for mental health. From therapy to emotion resilience DBT sessions, many practices can help your teenager manage and cope with their symptoms.
For instance, an abc please dbt session can support your child in accumulating positive emotions and dealing with negative ones more efficiently, which can help them take better care of their mind and body.
Booking them in for a session, as they likely won’t do it themselves, will ensure they get professional support and understand how to improve their well-being for their own sake. Taking this step for them can help them feel more comfortable with asking for help.
Speak openly about your problems
Another tip for supporting a teenager with mental health concerns includes being vulnerable as a parent and not hiding your issues. If you bottle up your emotions, and your teenager is aware of it, they will hide their own.
Opening up about your concerns will show them that they are not alone. Teenagers can feel alone, especially if nobody else tells them they are going through similar emotions. When you show them that emotions are normal, they can understand and accept they will find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Plus, sharing your issues will encourage them to share theirs. They shouldn’t bottle everything up, and being able to talk to you will give them an outlet and a way to decompress.
Ease into conversations
When trying to get a teenager to communicate about their mental health issues and emotions, it is best to ease into conversations. If you ask questions or hit the nail on the head straight away, you might scare them off or hinder trust.
You should start the conversation by talking about everyday things – how their day has been, future plans, or something ordinary. From there, you can gauge if they are hiding things or if they are ready to open up. If they are hiding their emotions and feelings, you could step in and share your personal issues with them. Doing so will show them that there is nothing to be afraid of.
The slower you ease into conversations, the more relaxed they will feel, which will help them open up.
Distractions are not always suitable for someone dealing with mental health issues. Distractions can help temporarily, but they can hinder recovery in the long term.
Therefore, it can be a smart move to remove distractions. For instance, should your teenager always watch TV or go on their phone when they have had a tough day, it will only push down the emotions. By removing distractions, you will be able to help them come to terms with and manage what is happening to find a resolution.
Be a good listener
Being a good listener is essential if you have a teenager going through mental health issues. Even if they are not, you should always be a good listener, so they have someone to talk to about things.
Being a good listener for someone with mental health needs will ensure they feel comfortable talking to you. If you show that you want to listen, it will help them acknowledge there is someone around to support them.
Don’t talk about one thing
When you talk about their issues, you shouldn’t only talk about one thing and one thing only. Going over the same topic can feel overwhelming for someone trying to understand their emotions or find peace. Therefore, when you talk to your teenager, ensure to speak about things other than mental health.
Keeping conversations light and natural will help them relax and discuss their concerns when ready.
Whether someone deals with mental health issues, everyone should indulge in self-care. The likelihood of your teenager lacking self-care is probably high. Hence, you should encourage and advise self-care.
Self-care is a great method to help a person find peace and inner calm and reduce their stress levels. Acts like reading, walking, cooking, and meditating are all ways to help anyone de-stress and feel present. Finding presence will allow teenagers to feel centered and come to terms with their emotions.
If the teenager is unaware or unsure how to perform self-care acts, you could do them too. You could read, walk, or meditate to show them how it is done and how beneficial it can be for mental health.
Encourage them to get outside
People with mental health issues often coop themselves inside and hide away from the world. Even if your teenager has to attend school, they might spend the rest of their time indoors. Being indoors is comforting. But, it will not help in the long run. It can make outside activities overwhelming. Getting them outside and feeling uncomfortable might seem like a bad thing to do. However, it will benefit their mental health. Plus, finding comfort in discomfort is a huge benefit when trying to manage mental health symptoms.
Therefore, to prevent this from happening (and to ensure your teenager gets enough fresh air), encourage them to spend more time outside. You could ask them to join you on weekend cycles. Or, ask them to paint in the garden with you.
Spending time in nature is therapeutic for anyone, especially for those dealing with mental health struggles.
It can be sad and challenging to help a teenager with their mental health issues. Mental health is common among teenagers, so it is important to know the signs and how to help them. Hopefully, using these tips, you will understand how to help your teenager if they experience struggles.