10 Key Guidelines on Talking to Your Teen About Mental Health

by Guest Posts

Talking about mental health isn’t easy sometimes. Anyone can struggle with it. Your teen may have an even tougher time talking about it than an adult might.

Teen mental health is an issue that isn’t often talked about enough in our society. Here are some guidelines you should consider if you’re having these discussions with your teen.

Emphasize You’re Always There to Listen

Make sure they know you’re always there to listen to them if they have something mental health-related they want to discuss with you. Often, teens need an outlet they consider safe. 

Tell Them You Can Bring in a Professional if Necessary

Let them know that if they’re more comfortable talking to a licensed clinical therapist like https://www.refreshcounselling.ca/, you can set that up for them. 

Share Anecdotes from Your Life

Some teens can feel like they’re alone in their experiences. If you have any anecdotes or situations from your own life that mirror what they’re going through, it might be helpful to mention those. 

Tell Them There’s No Need to Feel Ashamed

Make sure your teen knows that they should never feel ashamed about anything they want to discuss with you about their mental health. You should always encourage open lines of communication.  

Don’t Pressure Them

If your teen wants to talk to you, that’s great. You should not pressure them to do so, though. If they feel like opening up, let them do that in their own way and on their own time. 

Make Sure They Know the Whole Family Supports Them

Emphasize that the entire family supports them, not just you. If they ever want to discuss something with the whole family and not just one parent, you can make that happen.  

Make Sure They Know Mental Health is as Crucial as Physical Health

Make sure to tell your teen that you consider their mental health to be as vital as their physical health. You will always make time to talk about mental health struggles or anything pressing that’s on their mind. 

Don’t Get Angry

It’s easy to lose your temper if your teen tells you they did something wrong or against the rules. Try not to blow up at them if they tell you about it, though. Keep in mind the pressures teens are under. If you react badly when your teen tells you they did something wrong, they will likely conceal anything like this from you in the future. 

Have an Open Mind

Your teen might have something to tell you about themselves that strikes you as strange or unusual. Don’t be dismissive of them, though. Know that if they thought this was important enough to talk to you about, then it presumably means a lot to them.  

Tell Them You’ll Always Love Them

Make sure your teen knows that whatever they’re going through and want to get off their chest, you will always love them unconditionally. Your teen knowing that can make a huge difference as they navigate their sometimes confusing or challenging adolescent years. 

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