Teenage mental health is a growing concern with parents, since 2020 teen depression and anxiety has doubled. Mental illness in teens is more common than people realize, and many types of mental illnesses are treatable.
Getting your teen mental health care starts with understanding mental illness. Parents will witness a change in their grades (school refusal), lack of interest in their activities or friends, irritability, sadness or moody, including several of the following signs:
- Change in sleep habits
- Feelings of guilt
- Lack of motivation
- Trouble focusing or completing a task
- Changes in appetite
- Thoughts of suicide
- Substance use
Parents are searching for help with teen issues especially through their high school years as many youth are dealing with increased stress and anxiety. This can lead to teenage mental health and wellness concerns which many parents seek guidance in finding resources.
3 Mental health care options for teens
1. Therapy. There are many benefits to talk therapy. The hurdle can be convincing your teenager to attend sessions. Finding the right adolescent therapist can help your teen learn ways to better understand and manage their feelings, thinking and behavior. This can take time to build a connection with someone they trust to open up with to share their thoughts.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, often referred to as CBT, is often used with adolescents. It is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on making connections between thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Psychotherapists who use CBT help people identify and change dysfunctional patterns. CBT helps teens learn how to interpret their environment differently. Compared to other therapeutic approaches CBT is generally short-term.
2. Support groups. When you are suffering with mental illness or caring for someone that is struggling with mental health issues, having the support of others that can understand your experiences is priceless. Finding local support groups can sometimes be difficult, however with technology we are all a click away from thousands of people that are willing and able to be part of a community of healing.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has vast resources of information on both local and online support to caretakers of teens and young adults, as well as self-care for yourself.
Support groups are not only for family members, but your troubled teen can also benefit from attending a support group. They soon learn they are not alone in their feelings of anger or low self-worth. Maybe they are being bullied or harassed at school or online and find others that are going through the same issues. Support groups can empower young people to discuss their issues and start healing.
3. Other therapies. Some teens, initially, will not agree or be open to talk therapy. There are many types of therapies people use to help treat mental health problems. These can include physical activity, such as exercise or yoga. More creative therapies include art therapy, equine and canine therapy, music therapy, horticulture therapy, culinary arts, and much more.
Teenagers can be challenging and getting help for troubled teens can be more stressful, but necessary. Being aware of teen mental health issues and learning about resources can help them get the help they need sooner.
Read: Questions to Ask Therapeutic Boarding Schools.
Read: Where to Send My Troubled Teen.
Read: When Does My Teen Need Residential Treatment?
Have you exhausted your local resources and realize your teen or young adult still need help for their mental health? Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about therapeutic boarding schools.