Mental health concerns are rising across Canada, particularly among our teens. Teenagers often send out mental health red flags when they are suffering, and parents should be fully aware of these symptoms. We all have an obligation to help our teens through these tough moments and make sure they know that they have help.
Thankfully, there are ways you can help the troubled teen in your family. Teen mental health treatment is available, and our doors are open to those who need them. Venture Academy proudly offers help for struggling teens throughout Canada. Call 866.762.2211 or reach out online today to learn how we can help.
Mental Health Red Flags in Teens: Behavioural Changes
Behavioural changes are often some of the most obvious signs of mental health issues, but they can come in a variety of forms. The important thing here is to notice if a baseline of behaviour changes and just how noticeable that change is.
On the one hand, teens may begin lashing out more often, showing increased anger or aggression. They may start to engage in self-injurious behaviour. They may abuse substances with more frequency in an effort to seek mental escape or numb their own pain. They may show an increase or decrease in their sleep. They may withdraw from friends or previously enjoyable activities. You may notice a significant drop in functioning regarding school, work, or other activities they had always enjoyed. You may also notice that they begin to have trouble thinking or concentrating.
Furthermore, remember, it may not just be you who notices this behaviour. Unfortunately, far too many teens are good at hiding the worst of their symptoms. This is for many reasons: They may be afraid of how you will react, or they may not be ready to share their experiences with you yet. If you suspect that your child is experiencing some sort of mental health issue, check with other people that you know and trust, like their teachers or religious leaders. Ask if they have noticed any behavioural changes, and if they have, seek help.
Read on to learn more about common red-flag behavioural changes in teens.
These changes can sometimes be obvious, but sometimes they can be more subtle. If your teen seems depressed to the point that it significantly impacts their mood, they may need counselling.
Mood changes may involve some pretty clear signs, like seeming sadder, crying more often, or appearing depressed or lethargic. But it may also involve other reasons that are not due to a mental health condition, such as aggression or violence.
Appetite changes are often a telltale sign of mood problems. You may notice that your teen has experienced significant weight loss or weight gain. You may also see a noticeable change in how much they eat.
All of these signs are dangerous and indicate your teen is in pain and in trouble. However, there are times when you must simply stop everything and seek help immediately: If your teen shows signs of suicidal ideation, get help. Suicidal ideation means teens may begin expressing a desire to hurt or kill themselves, fantasizing about dying, giving away possessions, or making comments like, “The world would be better off without me.”
If this is the case, there is obviously a very serious problem, and you should attempt to get your teen mental health help as quickly as possible. If you believe that someone you love is in immediate danger of attempting suicide, call emergency services right away.
To be sure, a teen who is experiencing one or two of these symptoms may not be suffering from depression. However, if you have any questions, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The Benefits of Teen Behavioural and Mental Health Treatment
Treating mental health and behavioural issues during adolescence is essential in order to ensure that teens lead healthy, productive lives. Mental health treatment can help teens manage their emotions, reduce risk-taking behaviour such as substance abuse, and build strong social relationships. It can also provide a safe space for teens to explore themselves and develop life skills like problem-solving and communication.
Behavioural intervention is also essential for teen development as it helps them build healthier habits that will carry into adulthood. Through evidence-based therapies like cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), teens learn how to recognise patterns of thought or behaviour that are unhelpful and take steps to change them. This process helps individuals understand how their thoughts influence their actions in both positive and negative ways so they can make healthier choices.
In addition to mental health and behavioural treatments, teens who receive timely intervention can benefit from improved communication with their parents and carers. Through therapy, teens learn to express themselves better and listen to those around them. This opens up the lines of dialogue between adults and adolescents, allowing for a more constructive conversation that promotes understanding and respect in relationships.
Seek Teen Mental Health Help in Canada at Venture Academy
Your child may be experiencing a moment of crisis, but it doesn’t have to be forever. With help and care, including any number of treatment programs, your teen can lead a good, healthy, and happy life. If you need teen mental health treatment, call Venture Acade,y at 866.762.2211 or reach out to us online. We’re here to help you and your child.