July 7th, 2020
They are grown-up. They are independent now. A lot that happens in their lives may remain unknown to you. Even though they may seem happy.
Wait, are they happy?
Are they even okay?
Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the USA live with a mental illness. Could your child be one of these adults?
While mental health has slowly become a part of our conversations, those conversations itself remain lackluster and trivial. What more, these conversations rarely translate into concrete action on individual levels.
When was the last time you asked someone about their mental health? Or, when was the last time you thought about your mental health? Start this process by having a talk on the subject with your grown-up child. Believe it or not, they might need it more than you think.
This doesn’t mean you intrude or stalk them.
In casual exchanges, talk to them about their day-to-day life. Learn more about what they’ve been up to lately and if they are having any kind of problems. Ask them questions. Have they been going out with friends? If they are in college, is everything going well with their studies? If they have a job, are they enjoying themselves at the workplace? What happened to that old friend and if they are still in touch with him?
Generally, you can also tell a lot by simply observing them. Are they acting differently? Are they becoming less social? Has their health changed in recent times?
Try to gain more insights. This will help you figure out their mental state.
Let them know you’re there for them
They might be grown up and things are different now, you’re still the parent; your children still look up to you.
So, irrespective of them having problems or not; whether they have asked you for help or not…
Let them know that you’re there for them.
Let them know that you’re accessible and approachable.
Let them know that you still love them and will support them, come what may,
Just knowing this will make a big difference for your child. They might approach you from the front. If not, they would at least be comforted knowing that they have you.
With these efforts, you can learn a lot about the mental state of your adult child.
Are they depressed? Why do they look so anxious all the time? Do they have any mood disorder?
Once you’re aware that something isn’t, have a conversation with them. Tell them that you’re concerned. Offer them advice only when they have asked for it. Be comforting and thoughtful throughout. Most importantly, encourage them to seek professional help. Don’t try to force or even convince them to see a counselor. But do let them know about this option, as well as other options they have at the disposal.
They can see a therapist or counselor for mental health services in NC. Their issues can be resolved – Make sure they are aware of this.
As a parent, you’re in a tricky position. You want them to feel better but at the same time, you should not enforce your views and orders, which might trigger them in the wrong way. In the end, what helps the most is letting your child know that you love them and that options are available if they decide to get help.
And whether they decide to Google “community mental health center near me” to see a counselor OR choose to deal with the problems themselves, show support.