Watching a teen struggle with mental health can be one of the most challenging things a parent can experience. Whether your child has a substance abuse issue, is experiencing teen depression, or has a diagnosed mood disorder, it’s important to do all you can to get your adolescent help early on.
From residential treatment centers and treatment programs to cognitive behavior therapy and therapists who specialize in teen issues, there are many resources out there for teens who are struggling with things like suicidal thoughts, sadness, bullying, eating disorders, substance abuse issues, and more. For five great resources for struggling teens, read on.
1. Medications for Mood Disorders and Anxiety
If your teen is struggling, has a mental health diagnosis, and is on prescription medications, one of the best things you can do is be sure they are taking their medications regularly and the way that they were prescribed for appropriate drug use. For some people, paying for prescription drugs, especially in the United States, can be difficult.
If your teen has major depression or another mental illness, and you’re having trouble paying for regular medications, consider reaching out to your pharmacist to ask about an RX discount program that could help offset the cost of medications. A prescription discount card could make a big difference when it comes to the ability to pay for medications and giving you and your child peace of mind, too.
2. Residential Treatment Centers for Teens
Many parents hesitate to admit children into residential treatment programs because they worry about the stigma and believe they can help their child at home. While some children do well with intense treatment plans followed at home, others need the help of residential programs or partial hospitalization. The reality is that depression treatment centers for teenagers can provide a supportive environment for teens who are struggling and offer the benefit of licensed, professional therapists on call all day long.
Residential treatment programs include day programs, life skills for teens, and group therapy sessions that could make a difference in your child’s healing process. If you aren’t sure if this is right for your child, consider talking to your family doctor or child’s therapist for their advice on what would be the right fit for your struggling teenager. In trusting a professional treatment team to help your child get through a difficult time, you might be surprised just how quickly they are feeling more like themselves regardless of their medical condition and life’s challenges.
3. Teen Mental Health Support Groups
Some of the best allies your struggling teen can have are peers. Other kids going through similar struggles can be a great resource for a child who is struggling with self-loathing, low self-esteem, sadness, or hopelessness. In finding your child a teen support group for depression or another mental health issue, you’ll be reinforcing the idea that they are not alone and giving them peers they can open up to.
4. Therapists for Teens
Some parents aren’t aware that there are therapists trained in the specific needs of teenagers struggling with mental wellness. If your child is experiencing despair or frustration, and you aren’t sure where to turn, consider looking up a therapist in your area who specializes in adolescents. These therapists are trained to work with teens in ways teenagers will respond best to.
Instead of basic talk therapy, they will incorporate other teen interests like music or art into treatment plans and help teens to engage. When finding the right therapist for your teen, consider their hobbies and interests. Maybe you have a child who loves to draw, for example. Finding an art therapist with a specialization in teens would be a perfect fit.
5. Online Tools and Resources
If your teen is reluctant to see a professional in person, start by having an honest conversation and then connecting them to support groups online. Look for groups that focus on struggling teens and peer support. You can get recommendations on groups from your doctor or a therapist in your area but could also show your teen you’re on their side by helping them find the right online group for them, too.
Whether you’ve noticed behavioral issues in your teenager, they’re struggling in school, or they’ve come to you asking for help with mental health, doing what you can to provide them with tools to help symptoms of depression is a great way to support a struggling teen. Mental illness is serious and while it’s normal for adolescents to struggle, checking in with the young adult you love often is the best thing you can do to help them get through tough times.
If you’re worried your teenager is struggling or even contemplating suicide, it’s important to get help for yourself, too. Consider contacting a therapist so that you have a safe place to vent your concerns and where you’ll also be able to get helpful tools.