1. The pandemic is affecting the mental health of both teen and preteen age groups in a variety of different ways. Teens may deal with the usual stressors of young adulthood, such as bullying, schoolwork, puberty, body changes, and the emergence of new relationships. In the times of the pandemic, teens now are dealing with the fear of being sick, a change in their schooling, relatives and friends becoming ill, and potentially losing them to the health crisis. In a time when bodies and minds are changing, these new stressors have teens finding themselves fighting anxiety, depression, and questioning the future.
2. The best way to talk to your teen about mental health is to normalize it. Talking about mental health in the home environment gives them a safe space to open up about their thoughts and feelings. By sharing your own feelings, this shows them that it is okay to talk about it and that they can feel heard.
3. Some warning signs that something is wrong includes, but is not limited to:
-noticing a mood shift, such as more irritated, angry, quieter, withdrawn, agitated, lack of energy and/or lack of interest.
-noticing changes in sleep patterns and/or eating patterns.
-complaining about physical discomfort such as headaches or stomach issues.
4. If your child has suicidal ideation, make an appointment to see a psychiatrist or therapist. If you are afraid that your child will attempt to commit suicide, bring your child to the nearest hospital, or call 911. Never be afraid to reach out for help.