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Mental Health and Teens
Adolescence can be tough, for teenagers and parents of teenagers alike. Children are transitioning through physical, emotional and hormonal changes, which can lead to stress, both at home and at school
During this stage of development, life’s pressures can get overwhelming and lead to concerns including body image issues, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, sexual activity and unhealthy relationships.
It’s important for teens to visit a health care professional at least once a year during this crucial development period. Through Crow Wing County’s Child and Teen Checkups program, these visits are free to qualifying youth, up to age 20. Find out if your family is eligible.
Healthy Teens- Tips for Parents
Communication is Key.
Reassure your teen they can talk to you about anything, even topics that aren’t so easy to be open about.
- How is school really going?
- What anxieties do you have?
- Talk about your family’s values and your expectations on drinking, smoking, drugs and sex.
- Share your own experiences and feelings from your teenage years.
Here are more suggestions on how you can help your teen make healthy decisions. (PDF)
As your child navigates through adolescence, be aware of any changes in their usual behavior, or symptoms of depression, eating disorders or drug abuse. Signs may include:
- Excessive sleeping (beyond the usual teenage fatigue)
- Lowered self-esteem
- Loss of interest in their usual activities
- Declining grades
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Personality changes
Even if you don’t have serious concerns about your teen’s mental of physical health, it’s always best to schedule annual checkups with his/her doctor. Learn what will be covered at your child’s next checkup.
Where to seek immediate help
If you have immediate concerns about your child’s mental health, here’s where to turn:
- For emergencies, call 911.
- Crow Wing County’s Children’s Mental Health Services - Case Management services are available to help families identify and coordinate mental health services for children (218) 824-1140
- Bridges of Hope - Assisting children and families in crisis by connecting them to local resources (218) 825-7682
- Crisis Line- A phone line answered 24/7 by dedicated volunteers who are ready to listen and provide help in crisis situations (218) 828-4357