Tips to encourage teenage mental health
Teens must eat right, exercise, wash etc to take proper care of themselves. However, teen mental health, though it is unseen, is just as important. Teen mental health is a vital part of their personality and well-being and should be cared for just as much, if not more than, physical health. There are many different ways that a parent and a teen can work together to encourage positive mental health.
Taking care of a teen’s mental health entails taking care of their emotional and social well-being as well. Good mental health is an important part of their healthy development. This includes making sure they feel happy and positive about themselves and their life. This includes having healthy relationships, participating in physical activities and eating right, developing healthy sleeping patterns and being involved in the community. Making sure that your teen has good mental health helps to insure that they have the ability to create strong relationships. It will ensure that they can adapt to change and deal with challenges in a healthy way which is, of course, not helped by the fact that teens are especially at risk for developing mental health problems. So how can a parent make sure their teen’s mental health is being cared for? Some of the following tips may be helpful in this endeavor:
- Make sure you, as the parent or caregiver, have a positive and supportive impact on the teen’s life.
- Be supportive, loving and affectionate
- Be involved and interested in their life
- Make quality time and family time a priority
- Be there for your child when they are struggling, support them emotionally and be a safe outlet for them when they need to talk and find solutions
- Don’t let issues go unaddressed, deal with them as they come while remaining supportive
- Try to understand the pressures and stressors they deal with on a daily basis; be considerate of these when interacting with them
- Encourage physical health
- Encourage your teen to stay active as it will give them more energy and confidence; this can be sports or even just activities like biking or daily walks
- Help your teen develop and maintain healthy eating habits
- Make sure your teen has a regular sleep schedule; teens need 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep to keep up a healthy mind
- Try to make sure your teen is drug and alcohol free
- Educate your teen about the dangers of drugs and alcohol
- Make sure your teen knows the risks and consequences of underage drinking or substance abuse
- If they have a prescription medication, make sure they follow their dosage instructions and be informed of the signs of addiction
- Be able to identify the signs of alcohol or drug abuse and know where to find help; Do not ignore it
- If your teen abuses drugs or alcohol, support them through their recovery
- Address mental health issues immediately
- Learn how to recognize the symptoms of different mental health disorders; i.e. Signs of teen depression may include irritability, unexplained aches and pains or feelings of worthlessness
- Let your teen know that it is okay to talk about any issues they have been having; encouraging them to talk and be open can help you identify any signs or symptoms of a problem
- Make sure that, if they have a mental health disorder, your teen is no worse of a person, no less loved and will be supported and cared for no matter what.
- If your teen does have a mental health disorder, see your doctor and discuss your options as soon as possible; the sooner they are treated and given help, the better they will adjust and the less their risk of substance abuse or suicide will be later on.
To learn more about teenage mental health disorders or substance abuse and treatment, you can visit sovteens.com or call 866-615-7266.
Written by Sovereign Health Group writer, Brianna Gibbons