How to Support My Teen’s Mental Health

March 18, 2024|Mental Health|
A distressed teenage girl listens to an unseen adult woman.

As a parent, it can often prove to be quite a daunting and intricate task to effectively maneuver through the myriad of challenges that arise when raising a teenager. Teens face a lot of stressors, both internal and external, that can influence their mental health.

Additionally, today’s teens are especially vulnerable  to the harassments and dangers of social media and online presence. It’s imperative as a parent to equip yourself with the essential tools and strategies required to effectively support and nurture your adolescent’s mental health. 

Open Communication

One of the most crucial ways to effectively support and nurture your teenager’s mental health is by establishing and maintaining open lines of communication. A key aspect of this is providing them with a secure, non-critical and non-judgmental environment where they feel comfortable enough to freely express their thoughts, opinions and emotions.

There are various ways this can be achieved, such as consistently conducting regular check-ins with your teen, regularly organizing family dinners that encourage open dialogue, or even simply engaging in casual conversations. By dedicating yourself to actively listening, validating and understanding your teen, you can more effectively actively demonstrate that you care and that your teen plays an active part in their relationship to you and in their role in the family. Open communication can empower teens to speak up when they feel something is wrong or are experiencing times of crisis.

Encourage Healthy Habits

Encouraging your teen to engage in healthy habits can have a profound and transformative effect on their mental well-being and overall state of mind. Research has consistently demonstrated that exercise has a significant ability to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you notice signs of mental illness in teens, exercise in the form of extracurriculars or intramural sports can be a great starting point for helping alleviate symptoms, because it provides structure, socialization and physical exercise benefits.

Furthermore, the significance of adopting a balanced diet cannot be overstated. Consuming a variety of nutrient-rich foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains,and lean proteins can have a remarkably positive impact on your teen’s emotional state and energy levels. Making a conscious effort to provide them with a diet that is packed with essential vitamins and minerals can help enhance their overall mood. Teen mental health treatment can be varied depending on your teens needs, but these can be great places to start right at home.

Set Boundaries

When it comes to supporting your teen, it is crucial to strike a balance by not only providing them with guidance but also establishing clear boundaries on things that may influence or cause a teen mental health crisis. These boundaries can encompass a wide range of measures, such as having open conversations about activities or habits, thinking critically about social media use and consumption and discussing household rules. It’s important to get your teen involved in conversations about boundaries, so that they feel like they have agency. This will not only make them more likely to follow any boundaries set forth, but you may get more insight into why they might be experiencing a mental health crisis.

Educate Yourself

As a parent, it is crucially important to prioritize the education of oneself on the subject matter of mental health, as well as comprehending and acknowledging the various hardships and difficulties that teenagers encounter on a daily basis. Expanding your knowledge in this area will undeniably assist in gaining a deeper understanding of your adolescent’s actions and conduct, ultimately enabling you to offer them the necessary assistance and care they require.

Fortunately, there exists a vast array of resources at your disposal, including but not limited to informative books, insightful articles and interactive online support groups — all of which are specifically designed to augment your comprehension and awareness regarding teen mental health. Make the most of these resources and equip yourself with the essential knowledge that will undoubtedly prove invaluable in your role as a parent.

Seek Professional Help

If you notice signs of mental illness in your teen, it’s important to seek professional help alongside the other tips provided in this article. No one treatment avenue will provide complete care for your teen, and some concerns need to be taken more seriously. Consider finding a therapist or program that specializes in working with adolescents. These specialized programs can be more suited to addressing the concerns of your teen and can provide you with specified mental health resources for teens that you can use into the future.

By following these tips, you can support your teen’s mental health and help them navigate the challenges of adolescence. Remember to prioritize open communication, seek professional help when needed and encourage and model a healthy lifestyle. Your support and guidance can make a significant impact on your teen’s well-being.

If you believe your teen is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency.


Hartgrove Hospital

Hartgrove Hospital is a Modern Behavioral Health Hospital that specializes in personalized treatment for adults, adolescents and children. We pride ourselves on delivering quality care provided by our compassionate and thoughtful staff. Our mission is to restore the emotional well-being of our patients, while giving them the proper resources for their future.

Some of our programs include our inpatient and outpatient services. As well as our trauma and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). These programs are offered with an all-encompassing psychiatric healthcare service that is both effective and efficient. Located in Chicago, IL, our facility has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 773-572-7900 .

Share This Post

Schedule an Assessment

Need help? Call 773-413-1700 to schedule an assessment or receive more information. You may also walk in anytime. We’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week.