Make Changes Together



KS Services spends time partnering with families. We want our parents to feel supported as they support their children and teens who are dealing with mental health concerns. As part of our series on depression, our third guideline is to make changes togher.


Make Changes Together


Most teens are aware that their illness affects the entire family dynamic and will most likely struggle with this realization. They are aware that their illness requires extra appointments and monitoring. Instead of asking your teen to change something on their own for their own wellness, consider making family changes that do not signal more “blame” on your teen. For example, research does provide some information on particular behaviors that can ease the intensity and frequency of low mood such as physical activity, social connection, and quality sleep.


Consider:

  • Taking a walk after dinner as a family (Want more? Foster a dog and get plenty of walks and extra snuggles!)

  • Designating the last hour before bed screen free and initiate journaling, reading, playing board games or listening to an audiobook

  • Ensuring all members of the family are getting the recommended hours of sleep (teens need 8 to 10 hours)

  • Finding some community based activities to do together to increase connection (joining a local church, trying out a new gym together, or joining a local pool)

Again making these subtle changes as a family provides support for your teens without placing the “cause” on them. Allow them to be a part of a family change that ultimately increases the behaviors that are known to decrease the intensity of depression.


Laura Waller, MS, NCC

Licensed Resident in Counseling

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