Adolescence is a unique and formative time. Multiple physical, emotional and social changes can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Mental health is a way of describing social and emotional wellbeing. Your child needs good mental health to develop in a healthy way, build strong relationships, adapt to change and deal with life’s challenges.
Promoting psychological well-being and protecting adolescents from adverse experiences and risk factors that may impact their potential to thrive are critical for their well-being during adolescence and for their physical and mental health in adulthood.
For deaf and hard of hearing adolescents, there can be greater risk to adverse impacts on mental health. This is due to language and communication barriers, challenges connecting with peers, and the intersection of language and communication with emerging deaf identity.
Adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits important for resilience and well-being. Some of these include:
A teen growing up in a supportive environment in the context of family, school and the wider community will have a better chance of building resilience for the long term.
The challenges of adolescence
Factors that can contribute to stress during adolescence include a desire for greater autonomy, pressure to conform with peers, exploration of sexual identity, and increased access to and use of technology.
Media influence and gender norms can exacerbate the disparity between an adolescent’s lived reality and their perceptions or aspirations for the future. Other important considerations include the quality of the young person’s home life and relationships with peers.
Mental health promotion and prevention interventions aim to strengthen individuals’ capacity to regulate emotions, enhance alternatives to risk-taking behaviours, build resilience into difficult situations and adversities, and promote supportive social environments and social networks.
Adolescents who have good mental health often:
- feel happier and more positive about themselves and enjoy life
- have healthier relationships with family and friends
- do physical activity and eat a healthy diet
- get involved in activities
- have a sense of achievement
- can relax and get a good night’s sleep
- feel like they belong to their communities.
Your love and support and a strong relationship with you can have a direct and positive impact on your child’s mental health. It can even reduce the chances of your child experiencing mental health problems.
How we help
At HEARO we are here to empower deaf and hard of hearing kids to face the challenges of adolescence and thrive. We have a whole-of-family approach, so that you and your teenager can face the challenges that are typical of this stage.
We encourage parents to connect with other parents who are further along the journey. Knowing that the challenges your teen is experiencing are not unique to them takes the pressure off.
To find out how we can help through our Family Support service, or through parent-to-parent mentoring, please reach out.
•Providing tailored support for every stage of your child’s unique communication journey
•A unique program that pairs new parents of children with hearing loss with more experienced parents
Here are some further links to help you gain further insights on mental health:
- Behaviour and mental health – Aussie Deaf Kids
- Behaviour and mental health – teens – Aussie Deaf Kids
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – NSW Health
- Deafness & Mental Health – Deaf Services
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?