Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues can affect any family, at any time. Buts stigmas around these issues can prevent parents from reaching out for help, for fear that they or their child will be judged.

Fortunately, there’s hope. People are breaking down barriers and talking more openly about mental illness and mental health issues. And with increased awareness and visibility comes greater access to resources for parents who struggle with these challenges.

These videos offer parental support and information on topics such as depression, self-harm, and how to obtain the help your child needs.

How do I know if my teen’s behavior is more than just teenage angst?

Kathy Schank, KidsMatter Community Outreach Coordinator
Certified Mental Health First Aid Facilitator
Certified N.A.M.I. Parenting Basics Facilitator

This approach is a realistic tool for any parent with tweens or teens that helps them observe their child in a new light. Some parents like to journal, use a simple chart, post-its, or a small calendar to start to observe the patterns in their tween/teen. I teach parents to begin to be very intentional on how they are observing, listening, and communicating with their child over about a 2 weeks period from the moment you have that “ah-ha” moment or that uneasy feeling in your stomach.

Parents make a huge difference in guiding teens to make healthier choices as they watch for unusual behaviors in their teen in areas of:

  • Daily Functions like bathing, proper sleep, and eating habits over a 2 week period.
  • Performance at school or work declining and apathy or low motivation, again over a 2 week period.
  • Relationships with peer and family changing, with the teen building up more walls, distant or rude communication, and new peer groups appearing without another known cause.

D.I.F. D – Duration – How long has the behavior, mood, actions been going on? Weeks, a month, or 6 months? I – Intensity – How severe are these behaviors, moods, actions, reactions? Do you see constant crying, or doors slamming, total isolation? F – Frequency – How often do you see these behaviors pop up? Once a day? Once a week? Only on weekends?