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Talking to teenagers about mental health

I have blogged before posing the question of whether or not we pay as much attention to our mental health as we do our physical health. Now a new campaign by Time to Change run by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness has brought this back into focus for me. The aim of the campaign is to reduce the stigma of talking about mental health between teenagers and parents.

Why it's important to talk mental health with your teens The Time to Change poll (Nov 2015) stated that 55% of parents had never spoken to their teenagers about mental health with 45% feeling that it was not something that needed to be discussed. However with 1 in 10 young people of school age experiencing a mental health problem, the likelihood of them being affected by either their own or a classmate’s mental health issue is quite high so why are many parents not talking about it?

How to talk to your teen about mental health

If you are a parent reading this how do you feel about talking with your teenagers about their mental health? It may have been something that you hadn’t even considered before. You may have already done so and although creating an open dialogue isn’t always easy, it can have positive outcomes should a mental health problem arise. However, some people may find this topic difficult, uncomfortable, awkward or they just don’t know how to broach it or worry about “saying the wrong thing.” That’s understandable too but you don’t need to be an “expert” to have that conversation. There are some good resources to help if you feel you would like to learn more about the campaign at www.time-to-change.org.uk, after all mental health matters too.