How can parents help their kids when it comes to mental health issues?

On Thursday evening, March 7, the NewsTimes reported on the first parent forum that was held on adolescent mental health which included mental health professionals and city school leaders. The advice given to parents was to press your kids into having a conversation which the mental health pros admitted was one of the hardest things for a parent to do.

This means that if your teen appears to be having an issue like depression, instead of ignoring it hoping it's going to get better, approach your teen by having a conversation sooner rather than later. This was the first-panel discussion since Danbury High sophomore 16-year-old Haily Nailor took her own life at Danbury Fair Mall.

Danbury School Superintendent, Sal Pascarella stressed that parents are the "first-line" of defense to address mental health issues with their child or teen. Jennifer DeWitt of the Housatonic Valley Coalition Against Substance Abuse told the NewsTimes,

That's when we have to be detectives and police and nosy and all up on our kids' business.

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If the conversation originates at home between parents and their kids, it helps mental health professionals and educators connect struggling kids with the unique services they need. Emotional pain can be as much of a battle as physical pain especially for young adults who are having difficulty finding their way. The very best way to help your child if you can see they're wrestling through some emotional turmoil is to address it with them and not ignore it. It could save their life.