My Teen/Young Adult
Being a teen or young adult is a challenging and confusing time.
Your young person is not quite an adult but also not a child anymore. They’re going through so much emotionally and physically, and are just trying to figure life out. But there’s a difference between normal growing pains and distress. If you notice that your teen or young adult is struggling emotionally, there are ways to help. These tips and tools are here to help you recognize the problem, start a conversation, and provide the support they need.
If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or having thoughts of suicide, text HOME to 741-741 or call or text 988 now.
10 Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Their Mental Health
Teens need to know where and how to get help for their mental health. As any parent of a teen knows, however, “I’m fine” is often the go-to answer when we ask how their day went or how they are feeling. That can leave parents feeling frustrated and confused. How can you help your teens if they won’t talk?
Know the Warning Signs
Your child (grandchild, niece, nephew) is your everything and we never want our young people to be hurting or struggling. But, as parents or caregivers we need to be equipped to recognize the warning signs that our teen or young adult might need help. From changes in eating habits, sleep habits, social interactions or demeanor, it’s important to trust your gut.
Start the Conversation
Conversations allow us to plan for the unexpected. Talking about mental health is important because your teen or young adult may need help. By learning more, you’ll be better equipped to know what to do if they’re in distress and how to open that door to talking about it.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
988 is the new three-digit dialing code where compassionate, accessible care and support are available for those experiencing mental health-related crises—including thoughts of suicide or a substance use crisis. People can also dial 988 if they are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support.
Follow Up and Follow Through
During high school our teens gain academic skills and knowledge to prepare for life, but thriving in adulthood requires more than just facts learned in classes. It’s about developing important emotional and life skills, learning about health issues they may face, and receiving guidance on adjusting to life beyond high school. JED’s Set to Go program offers information, tools, and guidance to help you and your young person through this transition and onto the next step.
Pressure to be Perfect Toolkit
Pressure to be Perfect is about recognizing that what you see posted by others is just one part of their story—a single post or video rarely reflects all that is happening behind the scenes. This toolkit, a collaboration between Instagram and JED, was created to help young people figure out the best ways to use Instagram and includes tips and tools to improve their experience, connecting them with resources for further thought and discussion.
Help a friend in need
In partnership with Facebook and Instagram, and to promote emotional well-being, JED and The Clinton Foundation put this social media resource together to share potential warning signs that a friend might be in emotional distress and need your help.
Help during COVID for Parents and Caregivers
As we all cope with changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and caregivers may be faced with questions about how to support the emotions and mental health of teens, young adults, and themselves. JED has several resources to help you navigate these challenging and uncertain times.
Chat Safe: Tools and tips to help young people communicate safely about suicide
With a lack of evidence about safe and helpful online peer-to-peer communication about suicide, and little guidance to help young people safely discuss suicide online, #chatsafe was created to offer a set of evidence-informed guidelines to help young people to communicate safely online about suicide.
Let's Talk NYC
To support mental health, the Let’s Talk NYC Campaign was created to help parents and caregivers be equipped to talk to their children about mental health. It includes a parent guide and a guide for speaking to young children, so you can be a resource and help your kids get the support they need. While this program was designed for NYC, it can be used by anyone, anywhere.
Sound it Out
Sound It Out uses the power of music to help parents and caregivers have meaningful conversations with their kids about emotional wellbeing. Conversations were facilitated between middle-school aged kids, their caregivers, and musical artists who then transformed the kids’ emotions and experiences into songs. The exclusive album is available to stream along with free, expert-vetted resources in English and Spanish to guide conversations with caregivers and their children about emotional wellbeing.
Seize the Awkward
There are different ways to start the conversation and yet, no wrong way. Developed in partnership with the Ad Council and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, JED’s Seize the Awkward has videos, GIFs, conversation starters, and more to help make starting the conversation, well, less awkward.
Sharing stories is a powerful way to reduce shame, prejudice, and secrecy, and inspire us to be proactive about our mental health. JED has two video series that help shine a personal light on mental health. JED Voices features intimate conversations with notable and influential mental health advocates and JED Storytelling features personal experiences of real people who’ve struggled with their mental health.