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Tips for talking to your parents about mental health

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Plan ahead and write down what you want to say

Focus on the impact of how you've been feeling. For example, ‘I haven’t been spending time with my friends because I’ve been feeling depressed.'

Prepare for how they might react

If they say that what you’re describing sounds normal, you could say, ‘This is more than a bad mood. I don’t know how to manage this on my own.’
If they make you feel guilty, you could say, ‘I don’t want to feel this way, which is why I think I need some extra help.’
If they feel they're to blame for your current difficulties, give them some time to process things and get someone else to help you have the conversation.

Consider putting what you want to say in writing

If you’re feeling really nervous about having a conversation with your parents, write them a letter, email or text to start the discussion.

Pick a good time and place

1.

Try to pick a place where you'll have your parents' full attention

2.

Try to choose a time when you and your parents are feeling relaxed and open to having a conversation

Let your parents know how they can help

Have a think about ways they can support you, such as booking a GP/ psychologist appointment or checking in regularly with you about how you're feeling.

Get extra support

1.

School counsellor

2.

Psychologist, counsellor, helplines

If you already see a mental health professional, you could consider inviting your parents or carers into a session to have some support in opening up a conversation about what's happening for you.

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