Help Your Teen Navigate Mental Health Issues

Before you begin your wellness routine, cultivate present-moment awareness and inner peace. Download Abide and add powerful Christian mindfulness meditations to your day.  These Scripture-based practices will help you find stress relief and a deeper connection with God.

As a parent, you want your teens to be happy and healthy as they work their way through life. But with so many mental health and emotional issues that young adults face today, it can feel overwhelming trying to know how best to help them. The good news is that there are proactive steps you can take as a parent to help your teen navigate these issues from a biblical perspective. Mental health issues are losing their stigma in society today, so helping your teen through their struggles can be an open, hopeful journey.

Acknowledge and Accept Your Teen’s Mental Health Struggles

You are a child of God and you have the power of the Holy Spirit in you to help your teen through their mental health struggle. It’s not uncommon for teenagers to experience mental health struggles and it’s important to acknowledge and accept their feelings. Normalize the conversation about mental health by approaching the topic with calmness and compassion. Show your teen that they can trust you and that you are here to listen without judgment. Encourage them to practice biblical meditation and remind them that God is always with them, providing guidance and love. Create a loving and supportive environment that helps your teens navigate life’s difficulties with grace and strength. Remind them—and yourself—that it’s okay to not be okay.

Create a Supportive Environment

As a parent, you have the power to cultivate an environment that fosters mental health and well-being in your home. Talk with your teen about the importance of creating a space that is free from judgment and full of understanding. Encourage them to lean on their faith for strength in moments of struggle, and to seek out support from trusted individuals when needed. Remember the wise words of Proverbs 12:25, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Let your teen know that they are not alone in their journey and that you are there to support them every step of the way. Together, you can create a supportive environment that promotes growth, healing, and happiness.

Learn About Resources in Your Community

Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” In today’s world, navigating mental health challenges can be an overwhelming burden, especially for teens. However, you are not alone. There are organizations and services available in your community that can provide guidance and assistance. Consider looking into counseling centers or support groups that cater specifically to the needs of teens. God is the ultimate source of comfort and healing, but sometimes a mental health professional needs to step in. With the right resources and faith, your teen’s mental health journey can be a little less scary.

Look for Opportunities to Help Self-Regulate Feelings

As teens navigate life, they may encounter a wide range of emotions that can be difficult to manage. Rather than watching your teen turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms or ignore these feelings altogether, encourage them to seek out opportunities that aid in self-regulation. Several healthy and constructive activities can assist them in steering their feelings toward healthier outlets. For example, journaling can help them process emotions, exercise can release endorphins that improve their mood, and art therapy can provide a creative outlet for their emotions. By intentionally looking for ways to manage their emotions, they can build resilience and develop healthy habits that will serve them well in the future.

Model Healthy Habits

From a very early age, your children mimic your behavior. Modeling healthy habits to your teen reinforces the importance of mental health in addition to physical health. By prioritizing healthy eating, sleeping habits, and self-care, you are showing them that taking care of their body is glorifying to their Creator who fearfully and wonderfully made them (Psalm 139:14). It sets a positive example and helps them understand that taking care of themselves is not selfish, but rather a necessary act of self-love. So remember, by showing your teen the importance of healthy habits, you are also guiding them toward a path of spiritual and mental well-being.

Connect With Other Parents Going Through Similar Struggles

You have been entrusted with the awesome responsibility of raising your children, but it’s not always an easy task. Caring for a child struggling with mental health issues can be extremely exhausting. That’s why it’s so important to connect with other parents facing similar challenges. It’s that bearing one another’s burdens principle again. By coming together with other parents, you can find support, comfort, and guidance in your struggles. You can share your experiences, offer advice, and pray for one another. Through these meaningful relationships, you can find strength and hope to overcome whatever challenges you may face as a parent. Hope for Hurting Parents is one such organization that can help you know that you are not alone.

Though the road you will travel with your teen’s mental health struggles may be long and hard, never forget that, together, you can make the journey. Take comfort in the fact that God understands your heartache and empathizes with what you and your child are going through. Seek wisdom from him throughout each day of this journey and reassure yourself that he has promised to never leave you or forsake you.

Learning about resources in your community can help create an understanding of your teen’s mental health issues. Modeling healthy habits can give them a different perspective on how to self-regulate their feelings. Help lessen the burden of this road by reaching out to other parents who have gone through similar experiences for advice and camaraderie. Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself by engaging in small acts of mindfulness and self-care every day. Download the Abide app for daily meditations that can help you find peace amidst the chaos and hardship of supporting your teen through their mental health struggles.