Worrying about young people’s mental health can be really stressful and confusing. Particularly in an uncertain Ireland where many public services are struggling.
It can help if you know more about what’s going on in your family’s social lives. Keep your eyes and ears alert and try having open conversations.
If you end up no wiser, it might be time for hard questions. Whatever your worry is about, ask them. It won’t give them ideas, just make it easier for them to talk.
When you’re concerned, the first thing to do is to act on these concerns. Don’t ignore them.
Talk as openly and honestly as possible. Tell them you’re worried and want to help if they’re having problems.
Informal support given by parents or friends can go a long way to improving things. Keep communication as open as possible.
If you feel you need more professional input to help your son/daughter, there are various health services available in the mental health sector.
Assuming it’s not an immediate crisis situation or emergency you can make an appointment with your GP to get a referral with an appropriate service. There are also options such as private counselling, which usually have much shorter waiting lists.
There are also many excellent voluntary organisations offering advice and mental health support. They’re often really accessible, either online or through help-lines.
Depending on what you’re looking for they’ll either be able to support you directly or guide you through the myriad options available.