AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR?KCIT) – Teens were already dealing with stress and mental health issues before the pandemic.
If anything the pandemic has exposed, highlighted or enhanced things like depression, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide among this age group.
Belinda Palacios, Executive Director of the Amarillo Children’s Home has some tips to helping teens improve their mental health.
Strategies for supporting your teen’s mental health:
o Use a balanced parenting style, warmth with rules. Teens need to know they are cared for even when make mistakes.
o Teach teens to cope with stress. Emphasize the importance of sleep, nutrition, exercise. If needed parents can help develop a stress management plan identifying areas which cause stress with strategies to combat these feelings—teaching the skills to break down problems in to manageable size and reaching out for help.
o Role model self care. Taking care of ones self is a strategic act of parenting.
o Know the signs. Teens rely on their parents to identify the signs that they may be dealing with anxiety/depression and steer them towards help.
o Seeking professional help when needed. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength. Talking with your teen about what help looks like, how it work, and the benefits is critical to making our teens feel comfortable reaching out and participating.
The mental health of our young people meris our attention because it’s an adult’s responsibility to keep our teens safe and healthy. When they feel better we feel better too.