How Parents Can Help Support Their Teen's Mental Health

How Parents Can Help Support Their Teen's Mental Health

Your teen’s mental health should be a top priority. Social media, stigma, current events, and peer and parent pressure all play a part in the challenges teens face with their mental health.

What we can’t do is push conversations about teen mental health to the back of the line. It’s hurting our teens, and they aren’t getting the support they need to thrive through their mental health challenges.

Instead, parents must better support their teen’s mental health. Before we share how to do this, let’s explore why it’s so important to do so.

Why It’s Important to Support Your Teen’s Mental Health

Supporting your teen’s mental health is vital for their success in adulthood. Without proper support for their mental health challenges now, symptoms are likely to worsen in adulthood and affect their ability to progress personally and professionally.

More importantly, supporting your teen’s mental health will enable them to truly enjoy their childhood. When kids struggle with teen depression, anxiety, PTSD, or another mental health diagnosis, it’s difficult to navigate the right way to help.

Open conversations, solid support, and an action plan for coping with symptoms can normalise living with a mental health condition and inspire unconditional love for oneself and life.

How Parents Can Help Support Their Teen’s Mental Health

We can see how important it is for us to support our teenagers on their mental health journeys. But where do we start? With these three tips:

Open up a mental health dialogue with your teen

First, it’s imperative you aren’t discounting your teen’s experience with mental health challenges to it simply being them in their rebellious phase. They could be going through both, which makes the need for love, care, and empathy even greater.

Give them that through open communication. Nurture your teen's emotional well-being in every conversation. Reassure them that you are there for support, not punishment. Stay calm, be approachable, and be transparent about your own mental health experiences.

Ultimately, fostering open communication with your teen about mental health can make it easier for them to come to you for help.

Help them engage in life outside of social media

Teens tend to spend a lot of time on social media. These platforms provide many positive things, like staying connected to friends, a place to express creativity, and a way to keep up with world news.

That said, the negative aspects of social media can hurt your teen’s mental health. For example, unrealistic beauty standards are causing low self-esteem and body image issues. Cyberbullying is rampant. And constantly watching the life of the rich and famous leads to feelings of inadequacy and jealousy.

It’s best to limit your teen’s social media use and help them fill their time doing things beneficial to their mental health, like reading. Set aside time every day to read a book alongside your teen to stimulate their imagination and decompress.

The following activities can also replace social media use and support your teen’s mental health:

  • Sports
  • Time with friends
  • Family movie or game nights
  • Spending time outdoors every day
  • Self-care activities and personal passions
  • Mindfulness activities like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises

Helping your teen engage in life outside of social media will help them live a fuller life, positively influencing their mental health.

Create a support system around your teen

It’s wise to surround your teen with love and support for their mental health from various individuals. There will be times when your teen isn’t comfortable coming to you about their struggles with mental health.

Having additional support persons can ensure your teen is getting the support they need no matter what. Encourage relationships with good friends, teachers, school counselors, coaches, and doctors. Bring in mental health specialists as well to deepen the support circle.

Also, be sure there’s a line of communication between you and everyone in your teen’s support system to always remain in the loop.


Paying attention to and nurturing your teen’s mental health is absolutely essential. Helping them with it in their teenage years can result in them continuing to make their mental, physical, and emotional health a priority in adulthood. Good mental health can lead to so many great things for your teen. Implement the tips above to keep them get there.

About the Author

My Headshot_Katie
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, education, and fitness-related content.

When she isn't writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

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