Frequently when parents contact us they tell us that they are unsure if their child has an emotional health, behavioral health or substance abuse issue. In these circumstances we are happy to work with you by phone or when possible, in person to assist you in determining the nature of the issues that are of concern. You may reach us by calling 855-780 TEEN, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for assistance.
If you are not yet ready to give us a call, we offer the following tips for reaching out to a young person you think might be in trouble.
Trust your instincts. If you feel like a member of your family is in trouble, perhaps in need of mental health or chemical dependency treatment, there’s probably a reason you feel that way. If you reach out and you’re wrong… it only shows that you care.
Timing is important. Find a safe time where you can talk freely.
Don’t be afraid to be open and honest. This is what family is for.
Talk about what you have personally observed, instead of making judgments or discussing rumors.
Talk about how you feel: worried; scared; concerned; angry; confused; etc. When you talk about your feelings instead of making accusations, you are less likely to get a defensive reaction.
Act Now. The sooner you seek the help from mental health professionals, the more rapidly your loved one will likely be able to make positive changes. The longer you wait, the more established these behaviors become. And of course, some behaviors can be very dangerous.
Don’t keep it a secret. If you think there is a problem, tell someone. Tell a friend, spouse, other family member, teacher, counselor, or call us. We know this is hard to do, but when it comes to mental health, behavioral health and addiction issues, secrets can be deadly.
Do the research into issues of concern and treatment options for them. Even if your child acknowledges that they need help, they may be resistant to treatment if they are only aware of outdated, punitive treatment programs. Let them know there are better options available today. Be prepared to tell them about these options. If you contact us, we will send you materials that you can place in the hands of your teen to reduce their anxiety about getting the help they need.
Don’t give up. If your first attempt to help a family member hasn’t had the desired effect, a different approach may be in order. Changing behavior is difficult. Get help from professionals who specialize in helping youth make meaningful behavioral changes. We are happy to connect you with mental health professionals or interventionists in your area who can provide you with support and guidance.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need any assistance, please call us. There are no stupid questions. We have devoted our lives to this work because we are passionate about helping families who are experiencing challenges like your own. We welcome any opportunity to be of service.
You can reach us 24/7 by calling 1-855 780 TEEN.