Teens are more depressed now than ever before. Given the stresses of their lives (constant monitoring via technology, tuition hikes, cost of living making it harder to prepare for the future, school stress) that isn’t a big surprise. But it is still a tragedy and as parents, it can be hard to know how to help them overcome their struggles.

When a child has additional mental illnesses, it gets exponentially harder. Just getting out of bed can be a struggle, which is why so many teens with depression and other mental illnesses see their grades slipping, time with friends disappearing, extracurriculars falling to the wayside and their lives crumbling before their eyes. Which only makes the problem worst and begins the cycle again.

You can help your teen overcome the pitfalls of mental illness and remain productive and driven. All it takes is your support. But where do you start?

Open The Lines of Communication

The first step is the easiest: talk to them! You would be amazed at how much you learn if you sit down, really listen to your child and have an open conversation with them. Not only will you discover things you didn’t know before in that moment, but you will be showing them that they can come to you in the future.

Teach Them to Recognize Depressive Triggers

Depression can be constant, but for many teens, it is a feeling that comes and goes. The same with mental health symptoms which may be more closely related to stress than you realize. In any case, it is possible to learn to recognize triggers over time and begin to avoid them. Or to learn coping strategies to manage them when they occur.

Spend Time as a Family

Do you know what one of the most common answers to “What can I do to help you?” is when asking a teen? “Spend more time together as a family.” Really, that is what so many teenagers want but don’t know how to ask for. While it isn’t a cure, it can help to manage mental health issues.

Self Care for Better Productivity

What does all of this have to do with being more productive and driven? Because it is managing mental health! The best way to overcome the struggles of these symptoms is to learn coping strategies. Your teen will be more capable of getting out and getting things done if the effects of their mental health condition aren’t weighing them down.

As their parent, you are your child’s best ally. Never forget that.

Author's Bio: 

Tyler Jacobson is a husband, father, freelance writer with experience with organizations that help troubled teens and parents. His areas of focus include parenting, social media, addiction, mental illness, and issues facing teenagers today. Follow Tyler on: Twitter