Mental Health Awareness Month
Understanding, Treatment & Help
The challenges of adolescence– higher academic expectations, physical changes, and social pressure– can seem overwhelming. All this stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we wanted to take this opportunity to provide some tips to help a teenager who is struggling with their mental health, either because they’re experiencing signs of depression, anxiety disorder, or thoughts of suicide.
1. Developing Healthy Coping Strategies for Mental Health Issues
Adolescents need to know that the changes and challenges they’re experiencing are normal. Rigid expectations and all-or-nothing thinking are common among this age group, which leads to unneeded stress, anxiety, and depression. Help your child become flexible and adaptable, and to accept situations that are beyond their control. Most importantly, teach your teen that positive change is possible. Depression and anxiety do not define them and don’t have to be accepted as “just the way things are.” Modeling healthy behaviors yourself will also go a long way toward demonstrating what is appropriate and beneficial to their overall mental health.
2. Dedicate Mental Illness Awareness Month to Promoting Structure and Self-care.
Teens still need a reasonable amount of structure and guidance. Insist that they share mealtimes with you. Cook healthy foods and keep limited supplies of snacks and sodas on hand. Ensure that they have regular bedtimes and are getting enough sleep. Encourage your child to exercise regularly and limit screen time. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits– not just during May Mental Health Month but all year long– can reduce the mood swings and impulsive behavior characteristic of teens. Amid the stresses of parenting, remember to take care of yourself, too. Seek support from trusted friends or healthcare professionals if you need it.
3. Mental Health Awareness: Be Aware of Red Flags.
Virtually all teenagers go through a rebellious phase, acting as though the adults in their world come from another planet. Some level of defiance and moodiness should be expected. However, a sudden change in a peers social group, violent behavior, failing grades, or engaging in reckless behaviors could indicate a more serious mental health problem. If you have cause for concern, don’t ignore the problem; seek help from a family physician or mental health care provider.
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month 2019, it’s important to remember (whether you’re a struggling teen or the parent of one), that you’re not alone and that support is available. Lake Behavioral Hospital provides a variety of inpatient mental health services & outpatient care to help teens become happy, healthy young adults. Contact us to learn more or schedule an evaluation.
2615 Washington Street
Waukegan, IL 60085
Call Us 24/7 Toll Free:
Via I-94 to IL-120 E / Belvidere Rd. in Warren Township.
Take the IL – 120 E / Belvidere Rd. exit from I-94 W.
Continue on Belvidere Rd. Drive to Washington St. in Waukegan.
Lake Behavioral Hospital will be on the right, located at previous Vista Medical Center West campus.