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Did you know that one in every five teens struggles with at least one mental health disorder? Teens in today's world face a lot of pressure, whether that be from school, friends, parents, or the outside world. Combined with raging hormones, those factors make being a young adult hard enough. Friday would like to share information, resources, and benefits our plans have for getting teens the help they need.
Ways to Support Teens with Mental Health
- Be understanding. Whether you're a parent, a teacher, a family friend, or something else, if a young person is acting out or struggling, try to put yourself in their shoes. If you know they have a diagnosis, this can help you understand their behavior. While struggling with mental health isn't an excuse, it affects people differently. They are likely learning how to cope and navigate their struggle.
- Look inward. If you're a parent or caretaker, making sure your own mental health and self-care are taken care of means that you can have the energy to be a better parent and likely person.
- Set the example. Kids don't fully develop the ability to regulate emotions until adulthood, so they need to co-regulate with the critical adults in their lives. Even teens look to see how their parents and other trusted adults are coping to figure out how they should react. When they see you do something for your mental health and then see that you seem happier or more at ease, they might subconsciously think that that's a helpful solution for them too.
- Encourage open dialogue and create safe spaces. We all know it can be hard to get kids of any age to talk to us, especially teenagers. If you create a place for them to feel safe where they won't get in trouble for sharing tough topics and that you're there for them, they're more likely to share when they're struggling and look to you for help. If you check-in often and remind them that you're there when they need it, be sure to praise them when they make good decisions. It can be hard to ask for help, so it's always OK to ask if they need something or how they are doing.
- Help them establish routines and help them feel independent by not breathing down their necks. Routines offer a sense of order that is calming amid uncertainty. Give them some choice in setting their routine to help them learn skills like time management and make them feel more trusted/grown-up.
We know these steps are easier said than done, but we hope they'll help you with the teenager(s) in your life.
- Go Ask Alice!: is a database geared towards teens/young adults who may be seeking answers to mental health. This allows them to search and find that others have had the same questions and see helpful answers and resources.
- NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness): contains educational material, tips on talking to friends and parents, and how to find help.
- Reach Out: contains tips on specific situations such as having COVID, dealing with grief, and more. Teens can take self-assessments on where they're at emotionally and join the community.
- Mindfulness for Teens: a space for young people to learn mindfulness, coping techniques, and practices such as meditation.
- Teen Line: Teen Line's highly trained teen listeners provide support, resources, and hope to any teen who is struggling. They can chat, email, call, or text.
- The Trevor Project: for those in the LQBTQIA+ community, this website offers chat, text, and call lines for people in need. They have youth-specific services.
Friday's Benefits for Teen Mental Health
Friday is proud to offer mental health benefits on most of our plans. Getting help should be accessible, and we strive to make this possible. Young adults under 18 can see mental health counselors for $0 on most Bronze Plus, Silver, or Gold plans. These visits need to be with in-network providers. Search for mental health counselors in-network here. These providers offer a variety of visit types, from in-person to over the phone or video chat. Be sure to double-check what they offer and let your teen have a consult to ensure the counselor is the right fit. Please note that there will be charges if the appointment is for prescribing drugs for mental health.
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to the Friday Care Crew at our contact page.