Tips for talking to young people about mental health
Mental health is a sensitive subject, and kids- especially teenagers aren’t always the most receptive audience. Teenagers especially have difficulty reaching out to anyone- much less adults- because they fear being criticized or judged.
When a teen is struggling, communication and connection are crucial. When talking to your child about heavy topics, it’s important to remember to:
Your teen or young adult won’t listen if you start talking at them or lecturing them. Conversations about heavy topics like suicide need to be two-way conversations. Parents and caregivers need to listen as much as they speak during these talks.
To have a meaningful discussion with your child, you have to give them your undivided attention. It’s a chance to put the phone down, turn off the television and focus on the conversation.
Be honest and open.
Kids may ask hard questions, and it’s important to answer them as directly as possible, depending on their age and maturity level. So much of the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide comes from shame, so it’s essential to let them know that it’s ok to talk about these things and ask questions.
If your child is showing signs of severe depression or voicing thoughts of suicide, contact Serene Healthto schedule an appointment with one of our therapists. We offer many behavioral health and mental health services. We also have appointments available seven days a week through our Telehealth platform. Call 844-737-3638 or visit www.serenehealth.com to schedule an appointment.