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Mental health is explained by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” To help your child improve his or her mental health it is important to simultaneously address his or her behavioral health. While one’s mental health encompasses several factors (e.g., one’s biology, one’s psychological condition, and one’s habits) behavioral health examines how one’s habits impact one’s overall physical and mental wellbeing. This would include how behaviors like eating habits, sleeping patterns, or exercising impact physical and/ or mental health. Good behavioral health means engaging in behaviors that help to achieve an ideal mental and physical balance. To nurture your child’s mental and behavioral health consider the following tips, provided by the University of Michigan:

  • Model being kind to yourself: avoid self-criticism, treat yourself with respect, and let your teenager see that you are making time for yourself to engage in activities that bring you joy.
  • Set boundaries: young people crave clarity and structure. Setting clear and firm boundaries can help your teenager understand what is expected of him or her, and that consequences will ensue when boundaries are not honored. 
  • Encourage your teen to take care of his or her body: engaging in healthful habits and physically taking care of one’s body can improve mental health. To help get them started offer suggestions like:
    • Eat nutritious meals
    • Avoid smoking, alcohol, and other drugs
    • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water
    • Get enough sleep
    • Exercise regularly
  • Social health is important: young people that maintain social connections are generally healthier than those who lack a support network. 
  • Get silly and help your teenager laugh at the funny things: research shows that laughter can boost your immune system, ease pain, relax your body, and reduce stress.
  • Explore different de-stressing techniques with your child: try out different stress reducing tactics and relaxation exercises to quiet your mind, like yoga or meditation. Research has found that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more. 
  • Express your love: regardless of one’s age, every child wants to feel loved and appreciated. Show your child consistent expressions of appreciation to reinforce your love. 

Helping your teenager realize the importance of prioritizing mental and behavioral health can result in an array of benefits. Cultivating these healthy habits can help young people become more productive, cope with everyday stress more effectively, maintain a positive outlook, engage in healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits, and enhance their overall quality of life.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.

OUR KNOWLEDGEABLE ADMISSIONS TEAM CAN BE REACHED 24/7 AT INFO@PACIFICRTC.COM OR CALL: 800-531-5769 We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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