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Teens and Mental Health
13 · October · 2016

Adolescence can be a scary enough time for parents and their child, without the added worry of mental health issues. However, there is a strong link between the quality of parent–teenager relationships and an adolescent’s mental health. Healthy family relationships can help in reducing the chances of your child experiencing mental health problems.

 

Here are some ways you can support your teen’s mental health and wellbeing:

·         Be interested in your teenager’s life by asking about their day and really listening to what they have to say.

·         Show your child you love and care for them through affection and praise.

·         Spend some one on one time together, as well as family time.

·         Encourage your child to talk about feelings and events with you. It’s important for your teenager to feel like they’re not alone, and that together you can work on finding solutions to problems.

·         Talk to family members, friends, other parents or teachers if you have any concerns. If you feel you need more help, speak to your GP or another health professional.

 

If you’re concerned about your teenager’s mental health, here are some ways you can talk to them about it:

  • Let them know that you care and that you are worried for them. Remind your child that you’re not angry and they’re not in trouble.
  • Tell your teen that talking about what’s going on for them is the first step in trying to make it better. Let them know that if they’re not comfortable talking to you they can talk to another trusted adult – like an aunt, uncle or grandparent. Emphasise that they’re not alone.
  • If you think your child should see their GP, remind them that anything they tell their doctor is confidential, unless the GP is worried they’re going to hurt themselves or someone else.

 

If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, a good place to start is to talk to the team at Hunterlink on our 24/7 Helpline on 1800 554 654.