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Addressing a Teen Mental Health Crisis

People working to address a teen mental health crisis

Teen mental health has become a growing concern throughout America. It is possible to address mental health concerns that frequently begin during adolescence. However, it requires not only prevention but also crisis management. It can often be difficult for adults or guardians to spot the markers of a teen mental health crisis because this type of emergency is less visible and observable than a physical or environmental threat. Teens are also adept at hiding their struggles if they think they will be judged or ostracized. Learning how to help a teen in crisis can potentially save lives and futures.

Crisis intervention is crucial to addressing severe mental health issues and getting teens to accept professional mental health care. If your teen is struggling and in danger, there’s no time to hesitate. Imagine Fort Collins offers a crisis intervention program for those who need immediate help. This program allows families to safely start a conversation about mental health with their teens and begin the journey toward recovery. Our compassionate medical professionals are experienced in dealing with teens in crisis and can help your child work through troubling thoughts and emotions. Contact us at 970.680.5887 if you need support right away.

What Are the Signs of a Teen Mental Health Crisis?

Poor mental health during adolescence can be more than just feeling down or anxious. This is a crucial period where teens begin to develop habits that majorly affect mental health, such as proper sleeping schedules, diet, and exercise. Teens are also going through rapid changes that affect their brain chemistry and physiology, as well as discovering their cultural, religious, and gender identity. They are only learning to manage their emotions and can feel overwhelmed by their new experiences.

Some of the significant signs of a mental health crisis can include the following:

  • Confusion or irrational thoughts
  • Erratic sleep patterns or insomnia
  • Low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness and emptiness
  • Abandoning favorite pastimes
  • A dramatic decline in academic performance
  • Large fluctuations in weight and appetite
  • Sudden personality changes
  • Aggression or anger that is out of character

Many teens will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their adolescent lives, often leading to self-medicating through drugs or alcohol. This substance use can pose additional problems, as substance use disorders can worsen the original mental health issue.

How to Help a Teen in Crisis

Professional crisis intervention is the most critical first step if you have noticed the signs and feel that your teen is in crisis. When a teen’s behavior turns erratic or becomes a danger to themselves or others, they need immediate attention and support from a counselor to stabilize and address the root causes of the behavior.

However, parents and guardians can also take steps to prepare for a crisis intervention program.

Take Note of Teen Behavior

It’s helpful to be able to recall specific instances or examples of teen behavior that can be cause for alarm or worry. Your teen may not recognize or even realize that they’ve been acting differently and affecting people around them. Taking note of these behaviors will help you when trying to persuade the child to accept professional help.

Prepare How You Will Handle Your Teen’s Reaction

Nobody enjoys being told their behavior is unsettling or upsetting to the people around them. Your teen may be unable to regulate their emotions and react by lashing out with anger or refusing to cooperate. It can be difficult for parents to watch their children struggle or hurt themselves, but being able to provide steady, consistent, and non-judgmental support is vital for the child’s recovery.

Have a Clear Goal in Mind

Without a clear goal, there is no way to judge the effectiveness of the crisis intervention program. Parents or guardians must establish what success looks like for their family and the teen so everyone can take the proper steps to achieve the goal.

Crisis intervention is a collaborative work between the teen, the mental health counselor, and the family members. Being prepared will make the process easier and increase the chances of success.

Better Teen Mental Health in Colorado

Besides the crisis intervention program at Imagine Fort Collins, we also offer the following programs and services:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment
  • Interpersonal therapy

Imagine Fort Collins is ready to help teens in their journey toward stability and better mental health.

Reach Out to Imagine Fort Collins for Crisis Intervention

If you see a teen in crisis, don’t wait to seek help. Whether it’s your teen or someone you care about, adults are responsible for watching out for signs that children are in trouble and need support. Contact Imagine Fort Collins today at 970.680.5887 to learn more about how we can help your teen.