If you think there might be changes in your teen’s behaviour, it’s worth talking to them about it. Common changes in behaviour that could be symptoms of mental health issues include:
- being more worried than usual
- loss of interest in activities they usually enjoy
- constantly being in a bad mood
- having trouble sleeping, or sleeping way more than usual
- crying for no apparent reason
- struggling to concentrate
- eating more or less than usual
- having trouble performing at school or other areas of their life
- turning to alcohol or drugs to cope
- isolating from family or friends.
These could be signs your teen needs professional help, and your role as a parent or carer is to try and support them through it. If they are open to professional help, preparing them for a session with a professional will help them get the most out of it and make them more comfortable. It will also give you both an opportunity to talk about how they’re feeling about getting help.
The 4 steps to prepare your teen for professional help
1. Bring up any changes you’ve noticed in your teen’s behaviour. If they say they’re struggling, you can ask if they’re open to seeing a professional.
2. You can work with your teen to choose a professional by seeing your GP or researching online.
3. Support your teen to write down any issues they’d like to chat about in the session. Help your teen with the logistical stuff, such as getting a Mental Health Care Plan.
4. After the session, ask your teen if they want to talk about it. If they say no, remind them they were brave in seeking help and that you’re always there if they want to chat.