How can you talk to young people about their mental health?

Posted by
Hannah Hambleton
May 16, 2023

Talking openly about mental health with young people is vital for their well-being and development. By engaging in meaningful conversations and providing a supportive environment, young people can be supported to navigate challenges, foster resilience, and promote positive mental health.

In this blog post, we'll explore effective strategies to initiate and maintain conversations about mental health with young people.

Listen: Create an Open and Supportive Environment 

Regularly ask your child how they're doing and genuinely listen to their responses. By demonstrating active listening, you'll communicate that their thoughts and feelings are important and valued. Encourage them to share their emotions and experiences, helping them feel comfortable discussing their mental health. Remember, listening without judgment or interruption is crucial to building trust.

Be Involved: Show Interest in Their Life 

Take an active interest in your child's life, hobbies, and interests. Understanding what matters to them strengthens your bond and creates a safe space for open communication. This involvement makes identifying any potential problems or signs requiring additional support easier. Make time for activities together and engage in conversations that allow them to express their thoughts and feelings.

Value Their Perspective

When your child opens up about their emotions, validate and respect their experiences. By acknowledging and valuing their perspective, you empower them to work through their emotions constructively. Help them understand and label their feelings, with healthy coping mechanisms such as journaling, art, or physical activities.

Provide Support: Be Attentive and Responsive 

Pay attention to changes in your child's behaviour and mood. If you notice anything concerning, gently initiate conversations to understand their perspective and offer support. Avoid dismissing their experiences or trivializing their emotions. Instead, create a non-judgmental space where they feel comfortable discussing their challenges, fears, or anxieties.

Encourage Personal Growth: Support Their Interests 

Motivate and encourage your child's participation in hobbies and new interests. Engaging in activities they enjoy, learning new skills, being physically active, or joining a team can boost their mental well-being. These activities can also help to encourage a sense of achievement, foster social connections, and help them develop a positive self-image.

Establish Healthy Routines: Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition 

Create regular routines around sleep, exercise, and eating habits. Sufficient sleep, physical activity, and balanced nutrition play a significant role in maintaining good mental health. Physical activity can include anything from a walk outside, to boxing - it's important to find something that the young person genuinely enjoys.


Talking to young people about their mental health is essential in nurturing their well-being, but it can often be difficult to know how to approach the situation. 

By actively listening, being involved, and providing consistent support, you can support a young person with their mental health. Creating open communication is an ongoing process, and your support can make a huge difference in their lives, helping them to thrive. 

If you would like to find out more about mental health in young people, you can find resources here Mental Health Support For Young People | YoungMinds

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