How Parents Can Help Their Emerging Adult Child With a Mental Health Issue

  • Posted at Jul 19, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
How Parents Can Help Their Emerging Adult Child With a Mental Health Issue

As an emerging adult living with a mental health issue, it can be challenging to face the world and deal with multiple symptoms of a mental health disorder. But, for parents of these emerging adults, it can also be challenging. People diagnosed with mental health issues are not the only ones affected by mental health issues – their loved ones are as well. Parents of children, even older children, may struggle with not knowing what to do to help.

Fortunately, there are some things that parents can keep in mind to help support their emerging adult children on their journey toward mental well-being including:

Keeping Communication Lines Open and Judgment-Free

One way you can be a support for your child who is dealing with a diagnosed mental health condition is to be a judgment-free, listening ear. When people living with mental health issues have support, they are more likely to be successful in reaching their treatment goals. And, one of the best means of support is having people to talk to about what they’re experiencing without judgment. Some ways to practice this is by letting your child know that you’re willing to talk to them whenever they need it, this can provide them with encouragement in opening up with their feelings, which can be cathartic. And, allow them to feel encouraged on their journey toward mental wellbeing.

Celebrate Accomplishments and Provide Encouragement

Another way parents can support their older children who are getting help for mental health issues is to celebrate their mental health treatment milestones. This can be letting them know that you’re proud of how hard they’ve worked and reminding them that they can accomplish even more. Plus, encouraging them to stay motivated can also help to provide support during the more challenging times, when the high from accomplishments may have faded.

Use Healthy Coping Strategies as a Model

Children, even older children, model their parents’ behaviors (even if they say they don’t). So, it’s important for parents of children who are living with mental health issues to understand that what they do is impactful for their own children. When you portray healthy mindsets and behaviors, your children will follow after you. This can include using healthy ways of dealing with unwanted emotions, moods, and challenging situations. Some examples of healthy coping strategies that you can use in order to help your children do the same include deep breathing exercises, healthy sleep routines, exercising regularly, and using artistic outlets (painting, writing in a journal, etc.).

Look Out for Modifications in Behavioral Patterns

During a child’s development, especially one that has a mental health disorder, there are bound to be changes in behavior. However, some of these changes can be helpful for a parent to note, specifically if they’re negative. Some examples of negative behavioral changes in developing children can include avoidance behaviors, intense mood swings, and isolation from loved ones. If you notice that these behaviors develop, it may be a sign that intervention is necessary and that mental health disorder symptoms are worsening.

Getting Help as a Parent for an Emerging Adult

If you’re a parent of an emerging adult who is struggling with a mental health issue, one of the best things that you can do is reach out for professional, medical assistance. Mental health treatment facilities provide treatments and therapies that can help emerging adults learn healthy coping skills and ways to manage symptoms of mental health issues so that they can go on to live better lives of mental wellbeing.

At Yellowbrick, located in Evanston, IL, we help emerging adults deal with the symptoms of mental health issues. And, provide healthy ways to cope. If you or a loved one is struggling with the symptoms of a mental health issue, find out more about our programs on our website to learn how we can help.

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