How to Take Care of a Teen's Mental Health

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(Photo : pexels)

Mental wellness and mental health in teenagers has rapidly become one of the foremost challenges facing parents and caretakers of teens. In recent years, the prevalence of depression among teenagers has risen by more than 35 percent and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has estimated that 20 percent of youth, from ages 13 to 18 years old, struggle with mental health issues. 

Struggles with mental health issues that affect the mental wellness of teenagers usually begin at an early age. NAMI reports that at least half of all mental health conditions arise by the time that people turn 14. This fact highlights the importance of tending to mental health from an early age and continuing to focus on mental wellness.  

These statistics can be daunting for parents. But there are some things that parents can do to instill healthy habits and promote teen mental wellness. Parents can learn to act as advocates for their teens' long-term mental wellness and emotional health. 

Teach children positive coping skills

The availability of parents and support groups can go a very long way in helping teenagers feel emotionally secure. Security is the foundation of teen mental wellness and it is also very important to help them learn some strategies to tackle their own challenges. Coping skills for children and coping skills for teenagers are important to ensure their mental wellness. Parents should begin teaching positive and healthy ways to manage negative emotions when the child is young. Coping skills activities for support groups or youth groups can help too.  

By helping children learn how to respond to their emotions in a constructive manner from an early age, parents can help empower them to navigate future emotional struggles. Navigation helps ensure teen mental wellness. Also, it may even help teens avoid having anxiety or depression. 

Good coping skills can also help the youth to overcome the larger challenges that they will face throughout their life. With coping skills, they can easily put negative situations in perspective. They can seek constrictive solutions to issues that initially seem overwhelming, and it can help support their mental wellness. 

Educate teenagers about mental health

It is very important for both parents and teenagers to be aware of the mental health challenges that affect the youth, including the common conditions and their symptoms. This will allow them to know the difference between the normal emotional ebbs and the flows of life, as well as the signs of more serious mental health conditions like anxiety disorder.

Parents should also strive to help teenagers understand that mental health challenges are a normal part of life and that they are not a cause for secrecy or shame. It is best that you both work to normalize conversations and concerns about mental health and that you do your best to remove stigmas or any misconceptions that may be blocking your teen's understanding of mental wellness. In this way, you can help your teen to see that mental health issues are not only common and normal, they are also surmountable. 

Communicate openly and often

There will be times when your teen is reluctant to discuss a particular emotional challenge with you. Even so, the knowledge that parents are available to listen and to provide support can be an invaluable source of comfort. Teen mental wellness implies the creation of comfort within the family system, especially once the challenges are resolved. 

It is important that you make it clear to your teen that you are available to talk whenever they need you and make an effort to check in with them on a regular basis. When your teen comes to you with a problem, resist the urge to argue, judge, or offer an abundance of advice. Instead, try to understand what your teen is going through, and with that, you will learn how you can support them through this challenge and you will learn how to promote teen mental wellness.  

ALSO READ: The Importance Of Mental Health Awareness On University Students

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