How to prevent depression and clinical anxiety in your teenager: Strategies for parents is the product of a project within the Parenting Strategies research program led by Dr Marie Yap and Prof Tony Jorm of The University of Melbourne.
The strategies are supported by research evidence and international experts in parenting and adolescent depression and anxiety.
“Because family conflict and relationship breakdown are some of the common risk factors for depression and anxiety in young people, it is hoped that parents can use these strategies to help reduce the risk of mental health problems developing in their teenagers.” said Dr Yap.
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said it’s important for parents to know the risk and protective factors for the development of depression and anxiety in young people.
“Parenting during the teenage years can be challenging at any time. It’s hard to distinguish normal teenage behaviour from the signs of something more serious like depression or anxiety. Therefore, parents need to know the difference and understand how they can help their kids,” she said.
Some of the key strategies in the guidelines encourage parents to:
• develop and maintain a close relationship with their children
• stay involved in their children’s lives while encouraging them to develop increasing independence
• support their children through any challenges they face
• minimise conflict in the home.
“Dads, mums and carers have a very important role in protecting a child’s mental health as they enter their teens. Adolescence is a challenging time for teens and their parents, and though parents might sometimes question this, teenagers still need their parents” said Dr Yap.
“There are things parents can do to support their teens through this time as they develop into independent young adults. The most fundamental of these is maintaining a close and supportive relationship with their child.”
How to prevent depression and clinical anxiety in your teenager: Strategies for parents can be downloaded from www.parentingstrategie… This project was made possible by funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, and beyondblue.