Top Tips For Talking About Mental Health With Your Teen

In recent years, people have been talking more about mental health and recognizing the wide-ranging impacts of common mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. As well as many adults near Clearwater who struggle with their mental health, teenagers and children can experience these difficulties, too. Mental health conditions can impact people differently depending on their ages, circumstances, and support networks around them.

If you want to know more about how you can approach the subject of mental health with your teenager, here are some of our top tips to help you.

Listen and Don’t Make Assumptions
It can be tempting to make assumptions about someone else’s mental health and how they must be feeling. However, mental health concerns can impact each person differently; therefore, it is important to approach these conversations with an open mind and avoid making assumptions. Rather than asking leading questions that prompt a certain type of answer, make your questions and comments more open and curious – allowing your teen to share as much detail as they want with you. Listen to what your teen has to say and digest the information before making quick suggestions or unnecessary assumptions. Failing to listen to your teen’s mental health concerns might have the opposite of your desired effect and cause your teen to withdraw next time and avoid speaking to you about these important issues.

Talk About the Options Available to Them
Talking on its own might be helpful in some ways, but it is also useful to have a list of support options to present to your teen while having this conversation. For example, raise the idea of therapy or counseling that could help them to get additional support from a third-party mental health professional. If you know of any peer-to-peer support groups near Clearwater or support available through their school or college, suggest this as an option that could support their mental health at this time.

Don’t Rush the Conversation
When you start a sensitive conversation about mental health with your teen, it is important to do so at a time when you do not need to rush the conversation or limit it to a particular time frame. Do not start a conversation during a busy time or while you are on the move. Similarly, do not begin talking to your teen about their mental health if you need to cut the conversation short to start on another task. Your teen should feel like they can confide in you during this important conversation and speak for as long as they need about their mental health.

Guide Them Toward Professional Support
There are support options available near Clearwater, such as through mental health professionals, doctors, and therapists. This can be a useful strategy for your teen in the short term and the long term and can help them address both temporary and permanent mental health conditions or concerns. Professional mental health support can significantly complement the support your teen is receiving from yourself and other relatives or from school and other local groups. Visiting a psychiatrist or other mental health specialist for an initial psychiatric evaluation can be helpful in understanding more about your teen and what might help them going forward.

Finding Quality Mental Health Support for Your Teen
Navigating your teen’s mental health challenges may seem daunting, but remember, both you and your teenager have a community of support. You don’t have to face this journey by yourself. You can find quality mental health support for your teen near Clearwater by visiting Advantage Mental Health Center.

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