If you are the parent of a teenage or older child, you might not worry about their everyday medical needs quite as much as you did when they were younger, but older children still depend on you particularly when it involves emotional health and wellbeing.

Romantic situations, life changes, exposure to alcohol and drugs and stress are just some of the challenges faced by young adults and teenagers, and parents can help to encourage positive choices and make these transitions easier. One good tip is to be particularly vigilant watching for signs that your child may need support when they enter a new stage in their life, and be ready to give it.

Check in with them on a regular basis and ensure that the lines of communication between you are always open. If your teenager has moved out or is away at college, keep in touch via regular telephone calls. Do not be afraid to broach difficult topics – your children need to feel they can discuss any subject with you.

Parents should also watch out for mental health red flags like personality shifts, noticeable weight changes, signs of self-harm, excessive sleeping, moodiness or secrecy.

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