Mental Health Resources for Parents
You want your child to feel their happiest every day. However, chronic or sudden stressors can take a toll on their mental health. While these situations can be challenging to navigate, your children and family aren’t alone. As you’ll see, there are many free mental health resources for teens and parents alike.
Learn More About Supporting Your Children
As a parent or caregiver, you’re one of your child’s most dependable sources of guidance and support. Let them know you’re there for them by recognizing when they’re struggling and offering practical assistance.
Advice for Parents
Talking to Each Other
Advice for Parents
It’s human nature to be scared when we try something new but we are also scared when we don’t! Social psychology shows that avoidance of something novel impacts our well being just as much as actually doing it. So, we simply can’t escape the emotional impact of every...
For my entire twenty-seven-year career of working as a clinical social worker, I have been trying to figure out what resilience is and how to give it to more people. I have seen resilience in individuals who suffer horrendous abuse, illness, and life circumstances and...
School, practice, work, family obligations, and time for friends. This is the typical schedule of a lot of youth, young adults, and even adults. In the midst of COVID-19 it would appear that some of these responsibilities would have lessened and yet for many they have...
One in six children have mental, behavioral or developmental disorders. Without the proper treatment, the symptoms of various mental health conditions can have severe implications on a person's life. Through mental health parity, a person can receive the care they...
DBT is centered around the concept of dialectics, which is the belief that two seemingly conflicting ideas can be true at the same time. Social media is a way to increase connection and community building. Social media makes me feel unworthy. Both of these statements...
The month of November is a time when many of us choose to reflect on the things in our lives that we are grateful for. What many don’t know however, is the impact that gratitude can have on our brains and bodies. Psychologists have defined gratitude as a positive...
Talking about your feelings can be scary, especially for children and adolescents. Experiencing mental health challenges can be isolating, and many times the fear of stigma or judgement outweighs speaking honestly and openly. Adolescents can find it difficult to...
Many families have experienced some sort of disruption these past few months. Having conversations about social isolation, ways to stay safe in public spaces, or global and national news can bring up feelings like confusion, stress, or uncertainty. In preparation for...
Mental illness has a negative stigma in our society, so many times people don’t want to talk about it. But the truth is, people struggling with mental illnesses need the support of friends and family. Learning more about specific mental conditions and how to compassionately provide support for a friend who is suffering can help overcome the negative stereotypes. Read more.
Kimberly Young, Hillside assistant medical director, Dr. Adam Silberman, Hillside medical director, and Dr. Karyn Korsah, resident at Morehouse School of Medicine, on the campus of Hillside, a behavioral treatment center in Atlanta. March 24th, 2022 The Need for...
Jayson Rodriguez, Licensed Professional Counselor at Hillside, discusses children’s mental health during the pandemic. Jayson goes on to say that your home pre-pandemic and post-pandemic is much different and should be adjusted to fit the new normal. Teachers can't...
WBS-TV - Christina Kennedy talks about her experience sending her daughter back to school during the pandemic and the anxiety her daughter felt being around a lot of people again. Practicing deep breathing and meditation has helped work through some of those...
Anxiety is a natural human reaction that involves the mind and the body. Anxiety can happen at any time and for any reason. Growing up and experiencing new things can feel overwhelming at times for many children and teens, but there are ways to find peace and manage...
Kids have rough days. Children can display less-than-perfect behaviors for a variety of reasons. Maybe they're tired, disappointed, or frustrated. Perhaps they've eaten too much sugar or are exhausted from a particularly grueling day at school. But what if the rough...
Our highly stressful world requires children and adolescents to cope with a wide array of negative emotions, and not everyone has the tools to do so. When children learn how to manage and reduce their stress, they achieve better outcomes in school and avoid the...
Depression can affect children and teens just as much as it can affect adults. Depression can cause prolonged periods of sadness, fatigue and low motivation. It's important to help children and teens learn healthy ways to take care of their mental health so they can...
As the days get shorter, darker and colder, many of us experience a shift in mood that you might hear called "the winter blues." You can start to feel like you've lost your energy and have a hard time getting excited about things, or you may feel down in general. In...
Parents often feel distressed when their children are experiencing pain, whether it’s dealing with a skinned knee or a bully on the school bus. You want to fix it for them, but children must work through some issues on their own. When you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, you can’t ignore the problem and hope they resolve it on their own. When it comes to depression, your child may need professional help, and it could be up to you to get it for them.Continue Reading
Suicidal Thoughts & Self Harm
Adolescent suicide can be a difficult topic to face, but it is one of the most important concepts for parents and guardians to recognize to protect their loved ones. Many people live with the false idea that when teens make statements about suicidal or self-harming,...
Parents and guardians want their children to be happy and healthy. You may try your best to give your child the world, but sometimes their emotions and feelings can become too built-up. Teenagers are still learning healthy methods to deal with their emotions, and some...
Differentiating the characteristics of non-suicidal and suicidal self-harm is crucial when you are concerned about a loved one. These behaviors represent significant health risks for adolescents. Parents and guardians should research the differences and learn methods...
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health diagnosis that has a core symptom of the inability to effectively manage emotions. The typical manifestation of BPD usually begins during adolescent years or early adulthood. Difficulties with regulating one’s...
Mood Dysregulation (DMDD)
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD) is a relatively new diagnosis for diagnosing children and adolescents who exhibit frequent outburst, tantrums, or appears to be constantly irritable and angry. This diagnosis was included in the DSM-5 guidelines in 2013 to...
For many of those in the LGBTQ+ community, mental health is a significant issue. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans adults are more than twice as likely to experience mental health conditions as...
Hillside recently conducted several campus-wide LGBTQ training sessions for our clinical team and all campus staff focusing on the challenges, mental health needs and best practices for LGBTQ Youth in PRTF (Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility) & Foster...
Racism is not hard-wired in humans — it's something that's learned. Parents and teachers need to talk to their children and teens about racism to prevent the damage and trauma it causes. Although addressing racism with kids may seem like a challenge, it isn't...
Every day, people of all ages are diagnosed with a mental health condition. Specifically, millions of children and teens deal with mental health disorders including anxiety, depression and more. These issues can stem from various genetic and environmental...
Summer break and summer vacations were exciting, and now it is time to get ready for the new school year. Many parents are asking what can they do as the stress, anxiety, and depression from last school year has carried over for many children. The main stressors we...
Going back to school this year feels daunting. With so many rapidly changing factors, one thing seems to stay constant- the stress. During this crisis, many of us are feeling continually overwhelmed which can be detrimental to our physical and mental health. It is a...
Signs of Mental Health Challenges
Children and adolescents may have difficulty expressing their emotions, so it’s essential to recognize when they need help.
Look for the following signs:
- Sadness or isolation for more than two weeks
- Life-threatening behaviors, which may include having suicidal thoughts and gestures
- Engaging in activities that can harm themselves or others
- Intense anxiety that impacts their daily activities
- Mood swings
- Sudden behavioral or personality changes
Certain situations can be difficult for children to understand and cope with. Pay close attention to your child’s behavior if they’ve recently experienced life-changing events such as parent separation or moving to a new location or school.
What to Do Next
If you notice concerning behaviors, you should consult your child’s health care providers. They have the expertise and resources to give your child the care they need. These professionals include doctors, school nurses, primary care physicians and specialists.
Depending on the situation, your next step may be:
- Getting more information: Mental health is rarely straightforward, and it’s okay to have questions and concerns. Your child’s healthcare provider can offer more insight into their behaviors and symptoms.
- Seeking further evaluation: Ask their primary care physician if an evaluation is necessary and how to get in touch with a child behavior specialist.
- Consulting your child’s specialist: Your child’s specialist may have prior experience with their symptoms and can assist you directly or connect you with other professionals.
- Exploring treatment plans: Discuss possible treatments with your medical provider, such as therapy or medication.
How to Check In With Your Child
Discussing mental health regularly encourages children to be open and seek help when they need it. Try incorporating a quick check-in into your daily routine:
- Dedicate at least 15 minutes for a discussion in a safe, distraction-free environment.
- Ask open-ended questions and make sure your child is comfortable with and understands the topic.
- Listen openly and reserve feedback until after they’ve expressed their thoughts. You can also paraphrase what they said to ensure you’ve interpreted their words correctly.
- Validate their feelings and brainstorm solutions together, which can involve professional resources.
Common Mental Health Conditions
Children can experience a range of mental health conditions. While it’s best to consult a qualified health professional, educating yourself helps you recognize symptoms that you can bring up to your child’s doctor or psychologist.
Common conditions include:
- Anxiety: Persistent and intense worry that may affect your child’s home, school and social life. Anxiety disorders include phobias, social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Depression: A mental health condition that involves feelings of sadness, hopelessness and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.
- Borderline personality disorder: Characterized by difficulty regulating thoughts and emotions. Children with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have unstable personal relationships and exhibit symptoms like impulsivity and mood swings.
- Mood dysregulation: Marked by chronic irritability and constant tantrums. Children who experience mood dysregulation (DMDD) will express these symptoms consistently over time and in multiple settings.
- Self-harm and suicidal thoughts: Life-threatening behaviors that children may engage in to cope. A professional can help you pinpoint the cause and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Other Adolescent Challenges
Adolescents might face other challenges just for being themselves. Stigmas surrounding race and identity can impact your child’s happiness, relationships and health:
- Racism: A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics states that racism impacts children’s mental health. As a parent or guardian, you can help your child develop more awareness and teach them how to respond appropriately.
- Being in the LGBTQ+ community: LGBTQ+ youth are especially vulnerable to mental health conditions, being twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms. Since they’re unsure of how their loved ones will react, LGBTQ+ children may also have anxiety about coming out. It’s crucial to provide these adolescents with a safe and accepting environment.
Free Mental Health Resources for Families
We’ve compiled a list of free mental health resources for families below. If you have one you’d like us to add, please let us know!
These online resources offer information for parents of teenagers and adolescents. They cover numerous mental health conditions through videos, brochures, guides and other mediums:
- Teen Mental Health
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
- The Jason Foundation
- Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA)
Explore Our Resources for Teens and Parents
Seeing your child happy and healthy is all a parent could ask for. At Hillside®, our mission is to provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to support them. We help your child or teen heal through treatments like dialectical behavioral therapy, horticulture therapy and others. To learn more about our services, reach out to us today.