Do you have a child with a mental health disorder and you don’t know where to turn? Millions of parents realize that they have a child who struggles with poor mental health, and they want to know the most effective treatment available. New View Wellness in Atlanta knows how difficult it can be when you are parenting a child with mental illness. We created a teen mental health program that specifically targets the needs of teenagers who need to improve their well-being. We work with parents as a team to help kids learn how to deal with their emotions and experiences in a healthy manner. As a result, they can minimize many of their symptoms and learn to prepare for an exciting adult life without the limitations that untreated mental illness causes.
Parenting a Child with Mental Illness: You’re Not Alone
When someone is parenting a child with mental illness, they often feel isolated and like no other parent could understand them. In fact, poor mental health is much more common among adolescents than many people realize. About half of all adolescents have had a mental health disorder during their lifetime. Many parents find themselve surprised to learn that:
- Approximately one in three kids aged 13 to 18 has an anxiety disorder.
- Approximately 13% of those aged 12 to 17 experience depression.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) occurs in about 9% of those aged 13 to 18.
These figures have shown an increase as studies have come out reflecting how living through the pandemic has caused worsening symptoms or the development of new mental health challenges for young people.
How to Cope with A Mentally Ill Child
Every person dealing with parenting a child with a mental illness wants to have concrete ways to help their kid, but it can prove difficult to know what to do. Here are some vital ways to advocate for your child and help yourself feel empowered at the same time:
Find a Qualified Therapist: Therapists who are trained to treat children with mental health disorders bring something extra to the table when it comes to helping your child. They use their training and experience to build a bond with young people. As a result, it becomes easier for the child to open up and discuss their emotions and experiences while targeting a way to improve their symptoms.
Communicate with Educators: Make an appointment to speak with your child’s teachers and school counselor. Let them know what your child’s diagnosis is and the treatment they are receiving. Make sure you know of any accommodations the school is expected to provide to help young people with mental illnesses make the most of their education.
Keep an Open Door Policy With Your Child: Tell your child that you are willing to listen to them when they need advice or if they just want to vent. Establish an open line of communication with them that allows them to feel comfortable being honest about their struggles without fear of judgment.
Take Care of Yourself: Many parents benefit from seeing their own therapist to help them process their emotions and cope with parenting a child with a mental illness. Parents can also join a support group and enjoy the give-and-take of peer support from other mothers and fathers who understand what they are going through.
Become an Advocate: Join local advocacy groups that promote programs to help teens with mental illnesses.
Finding Mental Health Treatment for Your Adolescent
Quality mental health treatment for adolescents can take place on several different levels. Some children begin treatment in a residential program, which requires them to live in a facility for a period of time. For others, outpatient programs provide the structured treatment necessary to help them minimize their symptoms and begin to heal. Outpatient programs typically take place in one of two ways:
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP): PHP plans are a step below residential programs and feature many of the same types of highly focused therapy modalities. Sessions take place for several hours per day on five or more days per week.
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP): IOP is a step below PHP and takes place for a few hours per day on three or more days per week. Both types of programs offer a variety of types of therapy and prescription medication options, as well as include parents as part of the solution to help their child improve their mental health.
Find Help For Your Child with a Mental Illness
Parenting a child with mental illness is one of the biggest challenges moms and dads can face. For many parents, just finding a source to treat their child can be confusing and time-consuming. New View Wellness in Atlanta provides structured outpatient treatment for teenagers who deal with a variety of mental health disorders. We use modern, evidence-based therapy modalities to change how young people think, feel, and react. Our compassionate staff uses their training to speak to teenagers on their level and help them discover their own power to heal.
Contact us now to find out the effective and exciting options for helping your child. Our friendly staff is happy to help answer any questions you have.