Watching out for our most vulnerable – mental health for teenagers and children

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Did you know that 1 in 5 children or teenagers are affected by a mental health issue ? Depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, self harm – these are all very confronting topics and difficult enough to deal with as an adult. Take a moment to think how it must feel to be a child or young person trying to navigate their way through a mental minefield.

For people aged between 18 and 24, the prevalence of mental health issues is the highest of any age group. If you feel like a child or young person you care about is struggling you should know that there is help at hand. The worse thing to do is to put your head in the sand. It can be difficult to discuss but, handled carefully and with kindness and respect, you can see this as the first step to helping someone get their life back on track. Talking helps take away the shame, embarrassment and stigma often associated with these types of problems. The person who says they have never had a time of mental turmoil or difficulty is lying. Let your kids know that you understand and that they have nothing to be ashamed of.

It can be difficult to work out whether your child is feeling depressed or anxious or just going through some normal teenage turmoil. My thoughts are that it is better to be safe than sorry. Talk to your child. Let them know they are not alone in feeling this way. If it is a passing thing – great – at least your child knows you cared enough to talk with them. If it is something more serious you have made the first step towards getting some support and getting better.

Look for the signs – social withdrawal, a change in school or work abilities, use of drugs or alcohol as self medication, teariness, changed sleep patterns, changed appetite or weight fluctuations, risky behaviours, anxiety, racing heart, hyperventilation, feelings of overwhelm.

At NaturoCath Naturopathy we provide a caring, supportive and effective environment. We employ a number of strategies to help you and your child through this difficult time. We look for underlying causes such as thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, adrenal issues and hormonal imbalances. We treat with herbal medicine support which offers effective treatment of symptoms without any risk of suicidal tendency associated with some antidepressants or any issues of addiction or withdrawal.

Along with herbal and nutritional support we offer counselling from a qualified and compassionate counsellor with many years experience dealing with young peoples special needs.

There is no pigeon holing, no addictive medications, no sedatives or mind altering medications and no hard and fast rules. Call today for the help you need.

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