One of the best things about living in the information age is that we have almost unlimited access to information with the click of a mouse or a few simple keystrokes. For parents who are struggling to understand their teenager’s behavior, this can be a great asset. Unfortunately, one of the worst things about living in the information age is also the fact that we have almost unlimited access to information with the click of a mouse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the access itself may seem like a godsend, the truth is that even though we have access to more and more information every day, not all of it is good, not all of it is vetted, and unlike the encyclopedias of the last century, it is often hard to find definitive sources that you can trust. For parents, more information is not necessarily beneficial if it isn’t good information. To help, we have pulled together the following list of sources that provide reliable information on teen mental health issues that parents can trust.
This collection of information can help parents identify areas of concern and answer questions about the different mental health challenges teens may face. However, always remember that there is no substitute for the expertise and information provided by a qualified mental health practitioner. This information can be helpful in increasing parental understanding and awareness but if you suspect your teen is struggling with a mental health condition, make an appointment with a therapist, counselor, or other mental health provider as soon as possible so that your teen can get the help and support they need to overcome the challenges they are facing.
- Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents from HelpGuide.com – Good resource that aims to help parents increase their understanding of teen depression. Also provides details on signs, symptoms, and effects of teenage depression and information on the differences between depression in teens and in adults.
- Depression in Teens from Mental Health America – Offers insight into the causes of teen depression and outlines treatment options.
- Teenage Depression: Prevention Begins with Parental Support from the Mayo Clinic – Provides ideas for how parents can best support their teenager after a depression diagnosis.
- Helping Your Teen with Depression from Medline Plus which is provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. – Gives parents an overview of treatment options, talks about medication, and offers details parents can use to determine when it is time to reach out to a professional for help.
- Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide website – This site offers a wealth of resources and information about suicide prevention including a video specifically for parents called “Not My Kid.”
- Preventing Youth Suicide – Tips for Parents and Educators from the National Association of School Psychologists – Gives a clear concise list of warning signs to watch for and actions to take. Explains the role the school should play in suicide prevention.
- Teen Suicide is Preventable from the American Psychological Association – Offers insight into the research on preventing teen suicide.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Eating Disorders: Tips to Protect Your Teen from the Mayo Clinic – Gives parents an overview of what contributes to the development of eating disorders and an idea of the short and long term consequences of these disorders.
- What are Eating Disorders? From the National Institute of Mental Health – Provides a good overview of disordered eating and a breakdown of signs, symptoms, and treatment for each primary disorder.
- National Eating Disorders Association website – great resource for a wide range of information from statistics to symptoms to research.
- National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAND) website – resource for a broad range of information related to eating disorders.
- What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD, ADHD)? From the National Institute of Mental Health – Offers a good overview of the disorder, outlines causes and contributing factors, and gives guidance on treatment.
- ADHD Overview from the Centers for Disease Control – Provides basic information, statistics, and links to research.
- Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) – Provides access to a broad range of information and resources related to ADHD.
- Additude Magazine archive – offers insight into a wide range of topics from educational concerns to medication options to help for families.