Help for Sad or Anxious Children and Teens
By Madeline Vann, M.Ed., NCC, resident in counseling at White Cloud Therapeutic Services, LLC
It’s been a tough year or so, and even with the excitement of going back to school, parents are expressing a lot of reasonable concern about the mental health of children and teens. Scary statistics are passed around on social media and in other settings, increasing that concern.
But what can parents or guardians do if they have concern for their child or teen?
There are lots of resources available out there to help. It’s important to know that perhaps the most important connection your child or teen has, is you. So taking time to connect and support your child or teen is a good investment – even if all you are doing (it feels to you) is driving them to and from events or watching YouTubers with them. Connecting your children and teens to groups they are interested in will be helpful as well. If you haven’t found ways to connect them yet, look for opportunities with the schools, public libraries, faith communities, and even some of the online schooling or skills building programs.
For some children and teens – and, indeed, for family members – worry and sadness may seem overwhelming right now. Many children, teens and adults are experiencing grief – either because loved ones have died or because other important things have changed or are changing. Others may not express worry or sadness, and yet there can be signs that children and teens are struggling to cope – including using or abusing substances, cutting or self-harm, isolation, withdrawing from friends and family, and also getting worse grades or behaving worse in schools than before.
If you are concerned that worries and sadness are persistent despite everything you have done to try to improve mood, ask for help. You may want to connect with your school’s counseling department, a local therapist, or pastoral counseling. Many children and teens benefit from group or family therapy, so that they learn they are not alone in their worries.
Parents also need support right now. Consider whether you could benefit from counseling to help manage your own anxiety and sadness as a parent, guardian or grandparent.
For more information or to check on appointment availability, reach out to use at White Cloud Therapeutic Services, LLC, at 757-503-7917. Madeline Vann , M.Ed., CSAC, is a resident in counseling working with individuals, couples, families and groups.
Article was written and sponsored by Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed. at White Cloud Therapeutic Services