Teenage Mental Health: 7 Tips to Convince Your Teen to Get Help

Have you been noticing your child feeling less happy? Do they have problems with following a healthy diet and being physically active? Have they been showing high anxiety levels?

If the answer to these questions is a yes, your teenager may be experiencing poor mental health.

According to statistics provided by the Columbus Recovery Center, 50 percent of all chronic mental disease start by the age of 14 and almost 90 percent of teens who died by suicide had some mental illness.

With certainty, teen years are a period of struggles, some new, some carried throughout generations.

Teenage mental health problems can commonly include include anxiety, mood, and behavior disorders.

The problem happens when these issues are left untreated and are causing pressure which the child is unable to cope with on his/her own. This doesn’t just diminish their quality of life, but also puts them at a higher risk of eating disorders, substance abuse and suicide.

Unfortunately, not every parent of a teenager knows the importance of good mental health and how to nourish it in their children. Also, many are unable to recognize the symptoms or how to find professional help.

The challenge is to recognize the riskiness of adolescence for mental health problems and promote good mental health in your teen by maintaining a good relationship and showing love and support.

Parents should also learn the tell tale signs and take the necessary steps to help them- professional assistance.

However, a lot of parents may think that it’s normal and acceptable for teens to have low motivation, sleeping problems, and low mood levels.

Sure, this is okay if it happens from time to time and it doesn’t necessarily indicate an underlying mental problem; however, if it lingers for several weeks or more, talking with your child and consulting a professional, is of utmost importance.

But, not every teen will easily accept that they have a mental health problem, let alone open up to a “shrink”.

This is why we offer these useful tips about how to approach your child and convince them to get help. Check them out in the report below. 7 Tips to Convince Your Teen to Get Help

     1.  Present counselling differently 

Unfortunately, in today’s world, there is still a lot of bias against therapy. However, therapy is there for the same reasons we go to doctors for physical issues – to feel better.

When approaching your child about therapy, it’s very important how you present it in their eyes, according to Rachel Ehmke, Senior Editor at Child Mind Institute with a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago.

Instead of emphasizing that they will need to ‘share their deepest fears’, note that counseling will help them learn new skills and think in ways that will help them feel better.

Make sure your teen understands the role of counseling and that it offers useful science-based techniques for coping with the day-to-day struggles of life.

Explain to your teen that you understand their concerns about therapy and you can be with them in the room if they want. If they don’t want to or want another family member next to them, respect their decision.

      2.  Express your concerns
Telling your teen about the red flags you’ve been noticing may seem difficult, however, it’s vital for the path to therapy.

Explain the things that worry you and ask them calmly to share their opinion. Never infer that they’re ‘not normal’ or that they’re to blame for what’s happening.

Amy Morin, university lecturer, bestselling author, and psychotherapist suggests saying something like ‘I’ve noticed that you’ve been sleeping more than you usually do. Is there something you’re struggling with?’

And, never be surprised or act rashly if they become irritated by what you’re saying or if they try to convince you that everything is alright. Remember, your teen may already be ashamed, afraid or confused from the symptoms they’re going through.

Talking about the changes you notice in your child can be of great relief for them because they may already know something’s happening, but aren’t sure what it is.

     3.  Find the right counsellor
For your teen to want to go to therapy, you need to find a suitable counselor, i.e. one that will match their personality and one who he/she will respect. This may mean you will need to go through several therapists and this is okay.