It can be greatly upsetting and distressing to know your child may be showing signs of mental ill-health. Even when your child is slightly ‘out of sorts’, it can be hard to know whether to be worried, how to approach the situation, or where to turn for support.
You know your child better than anyone else – so you’ll know if something’s up. You can often spot the early signs of low mood or depression through a ‘flatness’ in your child’s voice. Although teenagers can be known for grunting and moodiness, there are other underlying or subtle indications that parents pick up when things aren’t quite right. You might have noticed that they:
- have become very withdrawn
- are persistently sad or more tearful
- get more irritated or angry than usual
- can’t sleep, or sleep a lot more than usual
- are exhausted all the time
- have no appetite
- have a permanent sense of hopelessness
It’s worth considering what’s going on at school or college. Changes in their attendance, interest, concentration or performance can sometimes indicate a problem, or they might have become disruptive and uncooperative. Some children may simply start refusing to go to school altogether. Outside of school, are they losing interest in hobbies, clubs or seeing friends? Have they withdrawn completely into an online world?
Early intervention is key. If you suspect that your child might be depressed – whether it’s your inner voice or obvious changes in behaviour, personality, mood or attitude – talk to your child. Ask them what’s troubling them and tell them that you’re worried. Explain that you’re there for them and listen without judging.
Our health insurance has your family’s mental health covered
If you’re concerned about child’s mental health, we’re here to listen. We can arrange a telephone consultation with one of our counsellors. They’ll listen to your child’s concerns and discuss options to help them on the road to feeling better.
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A parent’s guide to spotting the signs of mental health problems Read more >