Starting a Mental Health Dialogue with Your Parents

4 common concerns about talking to your parents about mental health

Asking for help is never easy. Bringing up your struggles with mental health with parents may seem like an uncomfortable, daunting topic to tackle, and misconceptions about the outcomes of these conversations add an extra obstacle to overcome.

We're here to debunk these concerns so you can feel comfortable and confident to reach out to your parents and be honest about mental health.
parent talking to child mental health

1. "My parents will be disappointed in me."

If your parents appear to be sad or disappointed, these emotions are not directed towards you. Many parents likely wonder if there was something they could have done differently to help, therefore they may appear disappointed in themselves. Be honest with your feelings if you feel you don't live up to their expectations and talk through where those expectations stem from. Open communication is key.

2. "My parents won't take me seriously."

The fear of rejection or dismissal is a valid concern to not want to approach your parents to present your struggles. If this fear is stopping you from asking for help, attempt to write a letter to your parents so you're able to get all of your thoughts and feelings out without dealing with reactions.

3. "My parents already have enough to worry about. I don't want to be a burden."

All adults have many responsibilities and may feel stressed in varying degrees of severity, but please realize that your health and wellbeing is likely at the top of their list. Your parents care for you and want you to get better, and attempting to deal with your struggles alone will only exacerbate the problem. You would likely go to your parents if you had a broken bone or severe illness, and mental health problems should be treated the same.

4. "One or both of my parents is the reason I'm struggling."

If you can't go to your parents for help because they are the catalyst of your struggles, there are other options to get you the help you need. Try reaching out to another trusted adult in your life such as a school guidance counselor, teacher, neighbor, or family member. If you're not comfortable with that, there are plenty of hotlines and organizations created to help you in your time of need.

You are not alone. Reaching out to your parents for help is scary, but it's the best choice in the long run. If you're struggling with mental health, clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers are available to help.

Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information or to schedule an appointment.