How To Talk To Your Teen About Their Mental Health
How To Talk To Your Teen About Their Mental Health

How To Talk To Your Teen About Their Mental Health

Attention All Parents: What is the state of your troubled teen’s mental health?

All teens often suffer from stress, sadness, and depression to some extent, but are they at risk for suicide? If you’re the parent of an undiagnosed, depressed teen, there’s a good chance they might be. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your teen about depression and suicide: you can open up the lines of communication, and encourage them to engage in more positive behaviors, including, (and most importantly) engaging in some type of therapeutic professional help. 

Starting the Dialogue

When a teen is depressed, they are likely to have become more withdrawn, so the first step will be to start a dialogue with them, but this must be done with patience and care. Depressed teens are usually not responsive and don’t want to be lectured. So, in this case, “dialogue” between parent and teen doesn’t mean talking as much as it does listening.

More specifically, it's important to ask your teenager questions about their feelings, and when they’ve answered, you may have the opportunity to slip in a sentence or two of your own in response to their dialogue.

It's important to keep in mind that, while they may not be responsive at first, the truth is they may actually want to talk, despite their initial objections. 

In addition to attempting to get your teen to open up a little, it’s important to let them know that their feelings are validated. While the reality is that their perception of themselves is skewed and their self-worth may be fledgling, it is still very real to them, and they need to know that you respect what they’re going through. 

Letting Them Know There’s Help.. And How To Find It

Once you have gotten to the point where you’re exchanging a few words, it may be time to let them know that you’ve noticed they have exhibited a few symptoms of depression and warning signs of suicide and that you’re worried about them. They may or may not respond favorably to this, but this opening engagement shows your teen that they are relevant, that they matter, and also serves as a great segway to use to further encourage your struggling teen to get some help. 

Any troubled teen who is struggling with depression, extreme sadness, or who is suffering from a significant amount of stress may be at risk for suicide. While the Centers for Disease Control are great about providing statistics on the successful attempts at suicide, they don’t provide national statistics on all the teens that try. Teens with depression and mental health issues need help, and a good therapy program is the best way to get them healthy again. 

Family First is a Therapeutic Program Expert in Treating Depressed Teens: How We're Different Than Most Traditional Facilities

Family First Adolescent Services believes that effectively treating an adolescent client demands a different approach and intensity of therapeutic services compared to the typical treatment model for adults. Our treatment is tailored specifically to teens and taps into our client's creativity, vitality and sense of community.

Our more tactile approach to teen-specific treatment uses a variety of therapeutic approaches including NARM™, a specialized approach to healing developmental trauma that focuses on a healthy connection between body and mind, and an experiential program that teaches teens to connect fun with self-care.

What is NARM?

The NeuroAffective Relational Model™ is a therapeutic approach to healing developmental trauma that helps establish a healthy connection between body and mind. It explores an individual’s emotional connection and functional organization, their identity and sense of self, puts the focus on the present, and teaches clients regulation of their nervous system.

Many traditional models of psychology are regressive. They focus on the past by bringing awareness to the client’s disorganized and dysfunctional characteristics. The NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM™) is non-regressive and focuses on the present parts of self that are organized, functional, and coherent. The ultimate aim of NARM™ therapy is to improve the client’s emotional self-regulation while strengthening interpersonal connections.

The goal of the NeuroAffective Relational Model™ at Family First Adolescent Services is to improve our client’s emotional self-regulation and strengthen their interpersonal connections. Our experience helping teens has shown that the best way to heal developmental trauma is to give clients the ability to respond to the ongoing demands of everyday interactions by using a range of emotions that are both socially acceptable and emotionally sustainable.

For immediate assistance, please call us at (833) 241-7746.