Parents Anonymous® Supports the Empowerment Journey of ALL Youth

Understanding Youths

Parents Anonymous® has been supporting the empowerment journey of Diverse Parents, Children & Youth since 1969 through Evidence-Based programs and practice. Recently, the CDC warned of an accelerating mental health crisis among teens. Many teens have reported feeling “persistently sad or hopeless.” Due to the extended COVID-19 lockdown, depression and anxiety among youth has risen significantly. Coming of age through the pandemic during the last couple of years has created an environment where so many feel the pressures of social isolation resulting in self-doubt, grief, and overall uncertainty. This Pride month, we want to focus on taking action to support mental health healing for underrepresented members of the community. Promoting open-minded interaction with family and friends like using the pronouns that people ask you to is key to valuing the identity of every person.

Connecting with Youth

Some groups were more likely to be affected by severe mental health issues. LGBTQ+ youths, black teens, and especially women were more likely to report suicidal thoughts. What parents and families can do is communicate openly from their heart, share activities with their adolescents (even at school or simply doing homework!), and communicate regularly with school administrators and teachers – even volunteering when it’s possible. Blame and shame must be avoided for young people to open up about scary thoughts and emotions. Feeling safe is key. Ask those critical questions: How are you? How can I support you? Simply showing youths that they have a support system of people who want to help is the first tool in their toolbox against mental health decline. Parents Anonymous® Free Weekly Groups are a great emotional support for improving the well-being of parents, children and youth.  

How Parents Can Support Youth

Providing opportunities for youth to develop positive social connections at school, or anywhere outside of the home, helps build resilience by exposing adolescents to their peers. Advocating alongside youth at their schools to provide adequate mental health services, integrating social emotional learning into staff training, and changing discipline policies to address equity issues,  can all build safe and supportive environments at school that have a sincere effect on youth. Those who reported feeling connected at school were more likely to be mentally healthier, strengthening vital protective factors for children and youth.

At the end of the day, paying close attention to our children, our parents, and our community overall will provide a supportive environment to address the ups and downs of emotional issues of everyone – especially vulnerable members of our community like LGBTQ+ youth. Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength® – call/text the California Parent & Youth Helpline® at 855-427-2736 or live chat the, 8AM – 8PM 7 days a week for free evidence-based emotional support.

For more from the CDC, find a study summary here.