Being a teenager can be hard. There are so many changes and challenges, from completing exams to friendship dramas to arguments with parents to friends struggling with mental health issues.
At times, teenagers might find themselves or a friend struggling to cope with daily life. As much as they may want to reach out to a friend or family member for support, they may feel like they can’t. They may fear that someone will judge them or they won’t understand. They may fear that their feelings with be dismissed or ignored. They may feel stupid or ashamed for feeling the way they do; that they shouldn’t feel anxious or depressed. As such, they choose to keep suffering in silence.
Knowing someone is there for you and cares about you can make a world of difference to coping with the challenges of being a teenager. If you notice your teenager struggling (or if you are a teen reading this, your friend), start a conversation. Ask them- are you ok?
R U Ok is an organisation that encourages people to start conversations with those who are struggling. You don’t need to be an expert to start a conversation, all you need to be is a good friend and great listener. You don’t need to have ‘all the answers’ or the ‘right advice’. Often all a teenager needs is to feel that their concerns are heard and feelings are understood.
If you feel like you need more help on how to start a meaningful conversation, R U Ok has some great resources on their website. Just follow this link https://www.ruok.org.au/how-to-ask
Michelle Dean (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), brings her genuine care and compassion for people, along with her keen insight and analytical abilities to her work.
Through her various roles, she has developed a deep understanding of how these difficulties develop and impact on people in different life stages. Michelle has been able to assist her clients in developing skills to manage their anxiety and depression, along with enabling them to develop a healthy sense of self and greater self confidence. Michelle is a high calibre and compassionate professional and she is wonderful at being able to see the complexities of a clinical presentation and bring her therapeutic work down to a manageable and structured approach.