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How to Maintain Adolescents’ Mental Health

In recent years, it has, unfortunately, become all the more common for young people to struggle with their mental health. Mental health disorders, like anxiety and depression, as well as struggles with low self-esteem, substance misuse, and self-harm are running rampant. Many young people don’t yet know how to adequately cope with these complex issues. This is why it is so important for parents and teachers to educate themselves regarding adolescents’ mental health topics. 

Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “My child seems perfectly happy and well-adjusted,” or, “I know my child would come to me if they were ever having a problem with their mental health.” Yet, the truth is that mental health problems can affect anyone. It is best to learn how to prioritize your own adolescents’ mental health and know how to help them if they are struggling. 

At Sage Recovery, we pride ourselves in our treatment programs that are tailored to the specific needs of adolescents. More specifically, our intensive outpatient program (IOP), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) approach, and individual and family counseling services are some of the many resources that we offer to build and strengthen adolescents’ mental health.

Maintaining Adolescents’ Mental Health: Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

If your adolescents’ mental health problems are particularly severe, our IOP may be the right fit for them. It is through this program that they will have the opportunity to learn highly crucial coping mechanisms and important skills to improve their mental health. With this program, your adolescent will continue to live at home and stick with their routine as much as possible. Yet, when they are not at school or work, they will spend their time at our facility receiving treatment. 

In our IOP, adolescents will have access to a wide variety of different activities and resources that will help them to better manage their thoughts and feelings. Some examples include:

At Sage Recovery, we believe that your support as a parent is vital in the recovery of your adolescent’s mental health. 
We recognize that this journey can be a learning process for you and the rest of the family as well. This is why we can assure you that we will walk with you every step of the way and be happy to answer any questions you may come across. 

Maintaining Adolescents’ Mental Health: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Group

Alongside our IOP, the DBT skills group is a type of therapeutic modality that we offer at Sage Recovery. We know that many of the issues that adolescents tend to struggle with stem from negative thought patterns. This negative way of thinking, as well as a young person’s inability to handle certain intense emotions, can make regulating their mental health difficult. Fortunately, this is where DBT and our DBT skills group can prove to be very useful. 

Some of the struggles that DBT can help with include:

Our DBT skills group helps to improve your adolescent’s mental health by teaching them useful and effective tools that they can apply to their lives and ways of thinking. These skills are broken down into four separate categories, including: 

#1. Mindfulness

With mindfulness skills, your adolescent will learn how to be more present in the moment instead of being stuck in the past or worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future. They will also have the chance to become more in tune and connected with their body and spirit, as well as more aware of their own emotions. 

#2. Distress Tolerance

Stressful or simply unpleasant situations are always going to happen from time to time no matter how hard we may try to avoid them. It is simply a part of life. Your adolescent may not be able to fully control or do anything to prevent these things from occurring. However, they can control how they choose to respond to them. 

Part of learning the distress tolerance technique is becoming aware of how to cope with stress without turning to harmful and destructive behaviors. This also involves your child learning to understand why they are feeling this sort of distress in the first place. 

#3. Emotion Regulation

It can be exhausting and overwhelming to feel as if your emotions are all over the place all the time. Learning to regulate emotions properly can lead to a better sense of balance. It can also lead to an increased ability to think clearly and respond to emotions in healthy ways. 

#4. Interpersonal Effectiveness

For some young people, it can be difficult for them to understand and articulate their own needs. It can also be difficult for them to set healthy boundaries with other people. The skill of interpersonal effectiveness can assist with this, as well as work to strengthen interpersonal connections and relationships with others.  

Every parent wants the best for their children and wants to be certain that they have equipped them with every tool necessary to handle whatever life throws at them. However, mental health problems can affect anyone at any time, regardless of how stable of an upbringing they may have come from. Some young people may feel the need to turn to substance use to cope with the complex emotions they are experiencing. This is why it is so important for parents to know how to help their children prioritize their mental health. If you think that your child is struggling with a mental health problem, our team at Sage Recovery can help. Call (512) 306-1394 today to learn more.