Being a teenager in the United States can be a challenging and often stressful experience. Everyone knows that the teen years can be some of the most trying times for parents and young people alike. From school shootings to peer pressure to body image issues to bullying, the everyday life experiences faced by many teenagers can have a serious impact on their mental health.
Despite young people facing similar stresses in life, ‘teen counseling’ is still a subject that is often not talked about in great detail in schools and households. Seeking help comes with stigma and connotations attached that frequently discourage young people from getting the help they need. That is why destigmatizing teen counseling is so important.
If Your A Teen Struggling With Mental Health
Talk To Someone
If your mental wellbeing is struggling and you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your friends or family, reach out to a trusted person in your life. It doesn’t matter if that person is a teacher, a religious leader, a school guidance counselor, or a mental health practitioner, as long as you trust them and feel comfortable asking them for help.
Remember, as scary as asking for help may be, try not to put it off for too long, particularly if you are not in a safe environment or headspace.
Know You Are Not Alone
It is estimated that 1 in every 5 young people have a serious mental illness that impacts their everyday life. According to the Pew Research Center, 70% of teens believe anxiety and depression are serious problems among people their age. It’s important that you know you aren’t crazy. Everything you are experiencing is unique to you and you are not the only one struggling with your mental health.
Seeking treatment for mental health issues does not make you weak, it makes you strong.
What To Do If You Are Being Bullied For Seeking Help
The same Pew study that showed 70% of teens worry about their friends’ mental health saw that 55% of young people think bullying is a major problem for people their age, while only 10% thought bullying wasn’t a problem at all.
If you are being bullied for seeking help for mental health, tell your therapist immediately. They will be able to provide you with the most appropriate way forward, whether that includes telling a school authority or trying to communicate with the bully privately.
If someone acts violently toward you because of the stigma surrounding mental health and seeking help for your mental wellbeing, speak to an authority figure or your mental health counselor as soon as physically possible.
How Parents Can Help Their Teens
Break The Taboo Surrounding Mental Illness
As a parent, you need to initiate conversations about mental health with your child, rather than expect them to come to you only when they have a problem. Hundreds of thousands of families across the country have never discussed the subject of mental health while sitting around the dinner table, which perpetuates the stigma around it.
Talk indirectly about mental health, and also talk directly to your child about their mental health and wellbeing. The more comfortable they feel with talking about mental health, the more likely they are to spread that outlook with their peers.
Let Your Teen Know They Can Get Help
Do not take it personally if your teenager does not want to speak to you about their mental wellbeing. It doesn’t mean your child doesn’t trust you, it simply means they want to speak to an objective third party. Help them look for someone to talk to, or make sure they have the resources available to do so themselves.
Teen Counseling Services In Plantation, Miramar, & Pompano Beach
At Fifth Street Counseling Center, we have three locations in Broward County to provide one-on-one sessions for young people and parents, as well as family counseling for families in distress. Call us today at 954-797-5222, we’d love to talk.