While researching some mental health topics, I stumbled across this great video for teenagers. Many teenagers that I work with are well aware of their mental health issues. Many times that have other mental issues that their parents may not be aware of. For example, a parent may bring their teen in for depression and the teen confides in me they are cutting too and their parents do not know.
Often when this occurs the teenager tells me that they want to tell their parents. However, they are afraid of their parents’ reactions. Will they think they are weird, crazy or will they scare their parents? The fear of scaring their parents is a big fear. They are concerned if they tell their parents the truth, their parents may feel overwhelmed and want to place them into an in-patient program. This idea makes the teenager feel ashamed of themselves and terribly afraid they will be abandoned just when they really need their parents’ support. This is very overwhelming for a teenager. It takes a great deal of courage and emotional strength to ask for help because they have a mental health issue.
Our society places a huge negative stigma on mental health. Therefore, for a teenager who is still trying to figure out school and social issues in addition to their own identity, the last thing they want is to feel like people will reject them especially their parents.
This video does a great job first of normalizing mental health. It approaches mental health just like other issues teenagers are dealing with in high school. It also names the feelings they may be having such as anxiety or fear of rejection. This helps the teenager because there is someone else they can relate to and they can see that their feelings are normal and that they are normal. They are not a helpless, crazy person, they are a normal person who has a mental health issues just like many other teenagers. Finally, the tips it provides are very helpful for a teenager. It gives them an idea how to start the conversation and how to have it. This video can also help parents with starting a conversation with their teenager, if they are concerned about their teen’s mental health. It helps you talk with your teen without making them feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty. This is very important when you are talking to your teen about mental health or other sensitive issues. Therefore, I strongly encourage parents to watch this video and for parents to ask their teenagers to watch it too. Tips on Talking to Your Parents About Your Mental Health https://youtu.be/CxrDC_D4BQU via @YouTube.
Dr. Michael Rubino is a psychotherapist with over 20 years experience treating children and teenagers. For more information about his work or private practice visit his websites http://www.RubinoCounseling.com, http://www.rcs-ca.com or his Facebook page http://www.Facebook.com/drrubino3.