Supporting your teen’s mental wellbeing
The teen years can be a real rollercoaster of highs and lows. And as a parent, it’s not always easy to know what’s happening in your teenager’s life.
You may be concerned about their wellbeing if you’ve noticed:
- Changes in their behaviour or moods
- Changes in their school results or behaviour, such as a drop in grades or skipping school
- They’re not having contact with friends and stopped doing things they enjoy
- They’re staying in their room a lot or you’re worried about their eating or sleeping habits
You may want to contact your family doctor and any other health professionals your teen sees for advice. Your local needs assessment service coordinators (NASC) may also be able to help. Learn more about the NASC.
We’ve put together a few other places you can go to get information about supporting your teen, as well as advice about when and where to get professional help. There are also some places your teen may want to contact if they need someone to talk to but don’t feel they can talk with friends or family just yet.
Common Ground is a website for family, whānau and friends to help them support young people who are struggling with big issues like coping with family change, relationships, bullying, sexual identity, stress and anxiety. It provides easy access to information, tools and support so you can help young people to manage hard times, enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing, and get the right kind of help when they need it.
The Mental Health Foundation provides information on mental health conditions, where to get help and how to support those you care about. They also have a section to help you find support groups, as well as a section to find counselling services.
Youthline provides a free, 24/7 helpline for young people on 0800 37 66 33. You can also text the service on 234 between 8am and midnight, or email . The website also has a range of other resources with self-assessment tools and a comprehensive Infozone that looks at things like relationships and sex, drugs and alcohol, bullying, and taking care of your mind and body.
0800 What’s Up is a free, counselling helpline for children and young people that’s available 1pm -10pm weekdays, and 3pm – 10pm weekends on 0800 942 8787. Young people can also visit the What’s Up website and get tips about the ‘most talked about’ issues like bullying, depression, relationships, and coping with stress and anxiety.
The Lowdown is a website especially for young New Zealanders. It helps them recognise and understand depression or anxiety, and is full of ideas and practical strategies to help cope with depression, stress and anxiety and get to a better place. It also talks about issues like relationships, health and disability, body image, sexuality and bullying.
SPARX is an online e-therapy programme that helps young people lean skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.