Skip To Content

Parents &

I Need Someone
Parent guide for teens with mental health issues

It can be heartbreaking to watch your child suffer with a mental health issue and know you can’t make everything better.

But there are other ways to help: support systems to put in place, resources for more research, and communication strategies to try.

Be There

Be There

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, you can:

  • Ensure your teens have strong, healthy relationships with family and friends
  • Help them develop positive self-esteem
  • Listen when they talk and respect what they have to say and how they feel
  • Ensure your home is a safe, open and positive environment
  • Offer guidance to work through difficult situations

  Learn all you can – Learn all you can – Learn all you can – Learn all you can – Learn all you can

Learn all
you can

You can also learn all about your teen’s mental health. There are tons of educational resources to turn to online. Here are just a few:

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Offers free tutorials for a variety of mental health topics.

The Hospital for Sick Children
Offers a learning hub for parents tackling many mental health issues.

Provides a free series of articles on coping strategies.

Kelty Mental Health
British Columbia resource with tips and strategies to deal with your family’s mental health challenges.

Anxiety Canada
Offers a slew of downloadable how-to PDFs for parents to help their kids with anxiety issues.

Find the right resources

Find the right resources

We have put together several mental health resources that delve into specific mental health conditions. These include support lines and help lines. Of course, it’s also recommended to consult your child’s primary care physician who will likely direct you to the best local resources. You may also want to visit the Child Mind Institute for a detailed one-pager about how to get the best care for your teen.

Seek help for yourself

Seek help for yourself

Yes, you are the parent, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. There are plenty of support groups and centres to help you help your child. You can find lists of services through:

If you feel you aren’t able to provide the full support your teen may need, do know that a trusted teacher, counsellor, therapist, arts or sports coach, etc. can also make a huge difference in a child or teen’s life.

Be patient

It’s much easier to see when a physical injury has healed. Mental illness, however, does not simply scab over and disappear. While mental illness can be treated effectively, it may never go away. That’s why recognizing when professional help is needed and providing support at home and at school are key. You can also use tools like this CAMH Guide, which can help you develop communication strategies with your teen.

20% of children and youth will experience mental illness.

Canadian Paediatric Society