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Helping Teens Weather the Mental Health Crisis

The importance of mental health has been becoming increasingly well-understood over the years. This has made it a primary talking point as the millions of Americans struggling with mental health make their stories known. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions can dramatically impact the lives of those affected. In 2021 the US Surgeon reported that teens experiencing these conditions face a mental health crisis with potentially devastating consequences. Family Psychiatry & Therapy is dedicated to providing mental health support for patients of all ages in Richmond, TX, and the surrounding area.

How To Help Your Teens During The Mental Health Crisis

The high degree of mental health concerns children and teens face is hardly surprising in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many experienced significant shifts in their lifestyle, losses in their family, periods of uncertainty and high anxiety, and isolation. Cyberbullying has increased as more children grow up in a world where the internet is part of everyday life. Teenage girls, in particular, have been revealed to be at risk of feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and suicidal ideation and attempts. Knowing how to help your kids through this period is essential to keeping them healthy and safe.

Discussing mental health issues with our teens can be difficult. It requires a degree of trust that they will be respected, heard, and understood, that are lacking in many family relationships. When broaching the topic with your teen, it’s important to keep the following concepts in mind:

  1. Mental Health Is Not A Choice – Mental health issues are not a conscious decision made by anyone. Your children are not sulking, they’re not faking it, and they’re not “deciding” to experience the symptoms they’re having. Remember this when listening to them, and respect their experiences without attempting to downplay them.
  2. Listening Is Not Talking – When you listen to your child talk about their mental health concerns, you must be genuinely listening. This means a lot more than simply not talking while they talk. It means understanding that what they’re sharing is difficult to talk about due to the vulnerability that comes with it. Listen to what they have to say, and consider your responses carefully.
  3. Ask What They Need – This step occurs at multiple points in the conversation. It starts with asking whether they want suggestions or solutions or for you to just let them talk about their struggle. This can be hard for parents, as most instinctively want to help or offer guidance to their children. What sounds like solutions to you may not be realistic or connected with their world, and it’s often best to let them tell you what kind of support they need.

Seek Assistance From Family Psychiatry & Therapy

Trying to provide our children with the support they need can be a challenge, especially on our own. The world has changed dramatically since our childhood, so it’s important to get help from trained professionals. We provide resources for families like yours to overcome or manage the difficulties that come with mental health concerns. Call today to schedule your family appointment with our team at (832) 271-6114 today!

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Helene A. Miller / And Other Providers
Family Psychiatry and Therapy brings compassion, understanding, and skilled care to patients throughout New Jersey. Our team of mental health professionals focuses on providing a positive and uplifting experience that aids our patients in facing life’s toughest challenges.