A Guide To Talking To Your Parents About Your Mental Health

Mental health awareness months make the topic of mental health less challenging to tackle. However, coming to terms with your mental health issues may trigger some tense conversations. 

Mental health is something that affects more people than would like to admit. Although the stigma behind mental health is slowly chipping away, there are still many people who are stuck thinking otherwise. 

Some parents form part of the group of people who stigmatize mental health, making it challenging to address. If you are struggling to open up about your mental health to your parents, read our guide below. 

Figuring Out What To Say

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Identifying a mental health issue and seeking help is a great first step towards a healthy recovery. However, many people still need to address their mental health with their parents to move forward. 

Addressing your mental health issues with your parents can be anxiety-inducing. This anxiety is mostly caused by not knowing what to say, especially to parents who may not relate well to the concept. 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When figuring out what to tell your parents. It’s essential to note that they don’t need to understand everything. If you can communicate that you’re struggling and need help, that’s enough for them to work with. 

If you are still overwhelmed, try to script what you will say to them beforehand. Try to explore how your mental health symptoms have affected you and bring reading material if you think your parents will need it. 

How To Communicate

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Talking to your parents does not have to be a one-dimensional solution. If meeting them face-to-face gives you too much anxiety; there are ways to make communication easier for everybody involved. 

Sending a text, email or letter can help start the dialogue, especially if you want to go uninterrupted. You can also get a counselor at school or your doctor to pass on the message to your folks. 

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If you are willing to talk to them face to face, make sure to pick a time and place that is suitable for everyone. You want to choose a time where you can have their full attention and a comfortable place. 

It is also vital to try to have a conversation when you are in a good place in your life. If you are in crisis mode, they can reduce what you are saying to the situation you find yourself in at the time, so try to avoid that. 

The Aftermath


Having the conversation with your parents is the beginning; how they react may affect how the rest of your experience. One needs to mentally prepare for the possible reactions to navigate the rest of the conversation. 

Your parents may guilt trip you, make it about them, or even minimize your experience. Do not let these possible responses discourage you, but rather work on responses that circle back to your request for help. 

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Expressing that you’re struggling is also just one step; you should also let your parents know how they can help. Let them know if you need help finding a psychologist or if you just need them to check on you. 

Lastly, if your parents react very negatively, you can always look for help elsewhere. Take advantage of resources like the Crisis Text Line, apps like Vent, online counseling, and national and community organizations.

Written by:
Siba Mosana

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