Everyone would agree it is tough being a teenager. Not too many adults would want to return to this time in their lives. The news is filled with stories about depressions, anxiety, suicidal thoughts/suicides and ways to detect and help kids who are experiencing these challenges.
As a parent, it is overwhelming to pick up on the subtle changes, but Katrina Jensen, RN with Intermountain Moms says it’s not impossible and there is hope. Don’t question your ability to sense if something is wrong or isn’t adding up. Trust your instincts and then act upon them. Tips for success:
Keep the talking going: relate your own struggles you may have experienced as a teenager, ask your kids about what and how they are doing. Dig deeper after the “ok” answer.
Educate yourself on depression, anxiety, and stressors that kids face: don’t be embarrassed or worried you or your family will be alone in dealing with this issue. Talk openly and without shame.
Get Help! don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Sart with your primary care provider, let’s get rid of the stigma!
Pay attention to changes in behavior: if your child typically gets A’s and B’s and now is getting C’s and D’s there is probably something going on.
Download SafeUT app: statewide service that provides real time crisis help to youth through texting and confidential tip program right from their smartphone.
- Changes in sleep/insomnia or excessive sleep
- Loss of interest in something they love
- Talking about hurting themselves or feeling hopeless
- Grades dropping
- Weight loss/loss of appetite
- Personality shifts and changes