Depression and anxiety can affect the whole family. It’s important that all family members understand more about these mental health conditions, how they can affect your child and how supporting your child as a family will help them feel less isolated and alone. Using these tips will provide help for depression and anxiety for your teen. 

Psychologist Clare Rowe works with families and has some great suggestions about how you can support your family through teen anxiety and depression.

What parents can do to support teens with depression and anxiety:

  • Have a conversation with your child. Get some tips here on effective communication.
  • Give positive comments to your teen. Even simple things like, 'Thanks for helping with the dishes,' or 'It was nice to take a walk with you this morning,' will give them positive reinforcement. They'll see that you notice them, and feel like they're not alone.
  • Set an example for your teen by leading a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise and sleep can make a difference to your teen's mood. Leading by example creates opportunities to get your teen involved – try approaching them with, 'I'm going to the park, would you like to join me?' or 'Would you like to help me make dinner?'

What to avoid:

Try not to make attacking comments, or give instructions on how they can fix the problem. Comments like, 'You'll feel better if you use your phone less,' will only isolate your teen. This can decrease their self-esteem and make them feel like they're powerless to change the way they feel.

Getting the family involved:

Supporting your teen by getting all family members involved can be really helpful. Have a chat to any other adults in the household, and other children if you have any, about how you can all support your teen. This can also help other children understand what their sibling is going through.

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