How to understand that your teenage child needs help? Psychologist’s advice

Modern teenagers know, it seems, everything. And about the importance of psychological health as well. But knowing is one thing, and understanding that you need help, recognizing the problem, and addressing it with your parents is another matter.

Iryna Basista, a psychologist at the “Unbreakable Mom” project of the Masha FUND, tells when parents should be alarmed and how to offer a child psychological help.

 – Today, as we are all experiencing extreme stress because of the war, it is crucial to be even more sensitive and attentive to our children. This especially applies to teenagers, because the psyche of a teenager is so vulnerable and unstable – says Iryna Basista, psychologist of the “Unbreakable Mom” ​​project of “Masha FUND”. – Most often, parents notice changes in the behavior of a teenager, but they do not always understand how to offer the child the help of a psychologist, so as not to frighten and put pressure on a child, but also not to leave him alone with problems.


If you notice that your child:

 – does not behave as usual;

– sleeps for a long time, or, on the contrary, not enough, badly;

– began to eat more or less;

– closed in on herself;

– became more aggressive, and cannot control outbursts of aggression;

– lost interest in activities that used to bring pleasure,


Then do the following:

 – talk about the changes you notice with the teenager. Do not scold them for his closedness or aggressiveness, treat their feelings and behavioral manifestations with respect.

– say that it is important for you to support them now and at any time;

– offer your willingness to listen to them when they are ready to talk about their condition and their experiences;

– offer an alternative: a psychologist, or a psychological service, and give contacts prepared in advance so that they are just there, just in case;

– tell what kind of specialist this is and how they can help, emphasize confidentiality and that it is essential for you that your child is well.


Knowing the algorithm of actions, you will be able to support the child and feel in control of the situation. And this means that the probability of timely psychological support will increase.


We also remind you that in October the “Masha FUND” launched the “Brave” project. This is a self-defense and psychological assistance program for teenage girls aged 12 to 18. We want to teach teenagers to notice the first “red flags” of violence and to be able to defend personal boundaries.

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