Help Your Kids Be
For years, there’s been negative stigma surrounding mental illness. But the truth is many people live with a mental health disorder (oftentimes undiagnosed), including teenagers.
49.5% of adolescents have had a mental health disorder as some point in their lives.
One of the best ways to fight the mental health stigma is to normalize it by talking about it often. You can decide when to have conversations with your kids, but the sooner you do it, the easier it is for them to break the stigma so they can be mentally healthy.
Talking with your child about their mental health may not be easy, but there are many resources on this site to support you. Here are four tips to help fight the stigma surrounding mental health.
Tip 1: Treat Mental Illness Like a Physical Illness
Mental illness is a disease. If your teen is going through a tough time mentally, treat them as you would if they were physically sick — allow them to take a day off school and/or make a doctor’s appointment.
Tip 2: Choose Empowerment Over Shame
One of the best ways to fight the stigma is to own your story. Encourage your teen to own their mental illness and allow them to talk about it freely at home.
Tip 3: Show Compassion
Even if you don’t fully understand what’s going on with your teen, you can still show compassion and empathy. Let them know you care, you’re always there to support them, and you love them.
Tip 4: Ask for Help
If your teen is showing signs they may need treatment or has asked to talk to someone, listen to them and validate their feelings. Professionals like psychiatrists and therapists are here to help them manage their mental illness so they can continue leading healthy lives.