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Q:

What are some important conversations I should have with my child about mental health and seeking help?

Hi everyone,

I have a 13-year-old daughter who has been experiencing anxiety and depression lately. I want to make sure I am having important conversations with her about mental health and seeking help. As a parent, it can be hard to know where to start or what to say. Can anyone offer advice or tips on what conversations I should have with her? I want her to understand that it's okay to ask for help, and that mental health is important. Thank you in advance for your help!

All Replies

kylee63

Hi there,

I am a parent to a 15-year-old who has struggled with anxiety and depression for some time now. I have found that having open and honest conversations about mental health with my child has been really helpful in their understanding of their mental health and seeking help when they need it.

One conversation that was really important for us was discussing the common misconceptions about mental health - such as the belief that those with mental health struggles are weak or that it's not a "real" illness. We also talked about the importance of seeking professional help when necessary, and that there is no shame in taking medication or going to therapy.

Another conversation we had was about the importance of self-care and coping mechanisms. We discussed different ways to manage stress and anxiety - such as meditation, exercise, and self-soothing techniques.

Overall, I think the most important thing is to let your child know that they are not alone and that there is help available to them. By having these conversations and being supportive, we can remove the stigma around mental health and ensure our children feel comfortable seeking help when needed.

medhurst.chauncey

Hey there,

I am a father of a nine-year-old boy, and I believe that it's never too early to talk about mental health with our kids. I started inquiring about his emotional wellbeing and mental health early on. I noticed that sometimes he would feel down, and his grades would suffer.

Our conversation centered around why it was okay to feel sad or anxious sometimes, and that we all need to take care of our emotional state of mind. We discussed how our body and mind are connected and when one is not feeling okay, it affects the other.

I encouraged my son to come to me and talk about how he feels; we also encouraged journaling his thoughts to reflect on them later. I introduced him to meditation techniques and simple breathing exercises that he enjoys.

We discussed how to be reflective and spot the signs of when he isn't feeling okay. We talked about how to seek help, and about reaching out to trusted family members or a mentor if not comfortable with talking to parents.

It's never too early to talk to our kids about mental health. By creating a safe and open environment, we can foster positive conversations and help our children understand that they are not alone. The earlier the conversation is started about maintaining our mental wellbeing, the better equipped they will be to handle the stresses of life.

destin.hoppe

Hello,

I am a mother of two teenagers, and we have always practiced open communication. One day my son opened up to me and shared his mental health struggles. I immediately knew that we must have a detailed conversation on this topic.

We talked about why it is essential to take care of our mental health just like our physical health. We talked about the importance of seeking help when you need it and how it's okay to have emotions and feel upset at times. We discussed the signs of extreme stress or where to determine the line between regular teenage mood changes and a mental health concern.

My children and I often sit together, watch movies and build dialogue and discuss the effects of some of the issues portrayed in the films or TV shows. We watch movies, documentaries or TV shows that touch mental health subjects to make it more engaging and understanding for them.

As parents, we have to be patient and ensure that we create a safe space for our children. Sometimes just listening can be the biggest help and support you can provide. Let your children know that you are there for them and that they are not alone in their struggles.

Talking about mental health may seem daunting initially but it's an essential conversation that can provide a vital tool for life.

aterry

Hi there,

As a parent of a child who dealt with severe mental health issues in the past, I've learned that it's essential to have open and ongoing conversations about this topic. What truly helped my child was me being a supportive parent.

Having general conversations about mental health was crucial - talking about what it is and the various types of mental health issues that exist. We talked about everyday situations that could trigger anxiety and how to identify triggers. We discussed emotions and coping mechanisms that my child preferred to use when things were tough - taking deep breaths, talking to someone they trusted, and journaling.

As a parent, it's important to let your child know that it's okay to ask for help when they need it. It's crucial to give them the space to discuss their worries without judgment. Seek professional help if their mental health is impacting their day-to-day activities. I found it helpful to educate myself on mental health issues to ensure I could support my child the right way.

I hope this helps.

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