Mental health in teens has now become one of the current issues and challenges faced by parents. Depression among youth in the recent decade has risen by more than 35%.
Teenagers have always struggled with mental health even at a young age. According to NAMI, half of the mental conditions develop around as early as 14 years old.
For parents, these statistics are terrifying and may make them feel helpless. Nevertheless, there are many ways on how parents can help their kids and promote mental wellness.
- Teach Them Positive Coping Skills.
For teens with mental illnesses, having their parents available for support is already more than enough to make them feel secure. It’s important to let them fight their own battles and teach them healthy coping skills.
Teaching them how to manage their own emotions healthily at a young age can help them in their future challenges. This is a step toward promoting teen mental wellness.
Having good coping skills teach children to look at situations from a positive perspective rather than a negative one. Also, they’re less likely to be overwhelmed by problems and more likely to find constructive solutions.
Coping strategies aren’t a fit-for-all. It still depends on their personality and needs but generally, healthy coping mechanisms promote mental wellness.
Here are some healthy coping techniques:
- Breathing exercises, visualization, and meditation.
- Hobbies like music or writing.
- Yoga or dance.
- Outdoor activities in nature.
- Communicating with friends and mentors.
- A more structured schedule.
Even if your teen already has their own coping mechanism, you should still promote these ones to prevent them from using negative coping mechanisms. There should be an emphasis on the usage of healthy coping behaviors.
- Educate Teens About Mental Wellness And Mental Illness.
Parents and teens should also be educated on the issues about mental health that the youth is facing. This will help them be aware and informed on mental health problems.
They should also understand that mental health illnesses are a part of life and aren’t something to be ashamed of. Normalize these things to your child.
- Encourage Mind-Body Wellness.
Even though a healthy body won’t prevent depression, a healthy mind still requires a healthy body.
Try to encourage your kid to have regular exercise and a balanced diet. Also, remind them that engaging in social activities is important for their mental health.
Make your teen sleep early too because good sleep positively affects your mood as a whole. Try imposing a curfew wherein they can’t use their gadgets past that time.
- Communicate Openly And Often.
For a teen, it’s difficult to discuss your mental health and challenges. So as a parent, it’s your duty to make sure they feel safe and they trust you enough to open up and be their support system.
To do that, make sure to talk to them as much as possible and reply when they need you. If they approach you for any advice or with a problem, don’t push them away but rather understand where they’re coming from.
- Let Teens Know That Help Is Available.
It might not seem like it but there are times when positivity, love, and support aren’t enough to overcome mental illnesses. Let them know that going to therapy isn’t something to be ashamed of and that it’s not saying that there is something wrong with them.