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6 Ways to help teens stay mentally healthy

They don’t always listen, but encouraging teens to look after their wellbeing can improve their mental health – and might even save their life.

6 Ways to help teens stay mentally healthy

Actioning one – or all six – of these tips could help a struggling adolescent take some strides in the right direction.

1. Get enough sleep
Insufficient shut-eye makes teens more prone to depression and anxiety,and fuels negatively charged moods and poor judgement. It can also make teens more reactive to stress.

2. Eat well
Deakin University research shows those who eat a diet of fruit, vegetables, fish and whole grains, with some red meat, are less likely to have depression or anxiety disorders.

3. Share
Talking about worries to parents or professionals in person, by text or online can be a big help. If that’s too hard right now, drawing or writing in a journal is a good start.

4. Gain coping skills
Whether they’re getting help in therapy or educating themselves online, finding healthy ways to deal with challenging situations and feelings will be useful throughout life.

5. Take a moment
Remind teens to pause and think before acting – if they wouldn’t be comfortable sharing what they’re about to do with a parent or grandparent, it’s a good indication they probably shouldn’t do it.

6. Go outside
It isn’t just vitamin D that helps ward off depression. Spending as little as 10-50 minutes walking or sitting in nature improves mood and reduces feelings of stress.

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