This is a great topic for discussion as it is so overwhelming when you are unsure where to go. I have had to access support services for both my daughter when she was quite young ( around 15 I think) and more recently for my 16 year old son.
With my daughter I had noticed that she had been caught up in a cycle of emotional abuse from the boy she was dating and also from so called friends at school. I had also noticed some signs of self harm and also a very unhealthy reliance on being connected through social media. I made an appointment for her through Headspace to see a counsellor. The day came and she stood at the doorway , stared me down and told me she hated me for making her do this, that she would never forgive me and that there was no way she would speak to the counsellor once in there. She did one session and never went back but it was enough for her to realise that she was in very unhealthy habits. Jump forward and she is now 21 and does not hate me ;-)
The 16 year old boy has been a harder journey. I began to notice around 6 months ago manic mood swings, rapid weight loss, inability to socialize and intense reactions to small situations. Instantly the warning bells went off for me as my brother who has bi-polar had the same symptoms from around the same age. As a family we discussed with him that his behaviours were not normal and that he may need help. he arced up against us and shut himself in his room. Later I went in and told him if he can't talk to us he needs to speak to someone. Around midnight that night he sent me a text to say that he felt he did need someone. We again accessed Headspace , however with around a four week wait I also enlisted the help of a friend who is a psychologist to informally chat with him. Once in Headspace he is now under a GP and the mental health plan with a psychologist and is on medication. The first lot of medication did not work and made him worse so always make sure that they adjust it! We also have amazing support from his school who have a plan in place for him going into year 12 to ensure that he is able to get through without compromising his mental health. He is confident enough to say on his bad days " I am not well today" which is all you can ask for.
Early intervention is the key. Don't be afraid of them hating you, it's better than the alternative.
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