Teen mental health directly impacts all other areas of a teen’s life. Even when a mental health treatment program is needed, knowing ways to improve mental health in teens can help parents support their teens at home.
How to Improve Mental Health in Teens
Teen mental health concerns shouldn’t be taken lightly. Giving your teen appropriate support at home can enhance professional intervention and make a difference in their overall wellness.
Here are five ways to improve mental health in teens that parents can begin utilizing right away.
1. Educate Yourself
Getting informed on mental wellness and the specific mental health concerns your teen is struggling with is the first step. Education helps you understand your teen’s experience and helps you avoid making unproductive or hurtful statements.
2. Create a Culture of Support
Teens who struggle with their mental health need family support. Work to ensure that other family members in your home have an age-appropriate understanding of the situation.
It can take effort to change the home environment, but it’s possible. Having meals as a family and sharing about the day’s highs and lows can help create a sense of connection and community at home.
3. Have Regular Talks
Find a way to regularly check in with your teen. It’s best to pick a time when you’re alone and not distracted. Talking while siblings are away at extracurricular activities, while preparing dinner, or over a cup of tea before bedtime are good options for checking in with a teen’s well-being.
Creating an open flow of communication may mean changing some of your conversational patterns. Instead of making conversations solely about a teen’s mental health, get curious about all areas of their life, like friendships, interests, and hobbies.
A willingness to discuss their favorite video game or pop singer shows you care about them as a person and helps to avoid sending the message that mental health is a problem that needs to be fixed.
4. Plan Outings
Mental health is about a lot more than simply stabilizing concerning thoughts, feelings, and actions. A key part of building a foundation for lasting mental health has to do with building relationships and learning to enjoy life.
Get out of the house and do things with your teen. A scheduled weekly outing to the movies or hiking can consistently provide a sense of enjoyment. For extra fun, make it a goal to try new things, like local art or fitness classes. Find something exciting that engages their interest, and commit to a regular outing.
5. Know When to Call a Professional
There is much that parents can do to support teen mental health. However, one of the most crucial is having the ability to recognize when a teen needs professional support.
Signs that indicate professional help is needed include:
- Anxiety that impacts friendships or grades
- Disordered eating
- Talk of suicide or death
If you’re concerned about your teen’s mental health, the first step is to schedule an evaluation and hear professional recommendations for moving forward.
The Importance of Teen Mental Health
It’s important to take the mental health of your teen seriously. By providing the right kinds of support, you can help them overcome obstacles and set them on the right path as they navigate adolescence.
Imagine Boise Supports Teen Mental Health
When it comes to the question of how to improve mental health in teens, there’s no one answer. Improving teen mental health is a highly individual process.
Imagine Boise works with teen patients and their parents to identify mental health concerns and work toward increased mental health and wellness.