Why You Shouldn’t Go Public About Your Teen’s Mental Health Issues Online

We have talked in the past about the need for parents to be more careful or careful about what we post about our children on the Internet , especially when they are old enough to have a say in the information and images you post in the digital world. But there is one area where you might be revealing too much information that you didn’t think about, especially when we were battling the pandemic: their mental health.

If we squint really hard to find the scraps of silver linings that the pandemic brought us, it may have made us all talk more about self-care and mental health than we may have said in the past. All of a sudden, we all started to struggle – which was definitely not the silver lining for the pandemic – but at least it was okay to admit it. However, this is what clinical psychologist Annalize Karon wrote for the Washington Post , which she has also observed in recent years:

However, as a byproduct of this wider acceptance and openness, more parents are talking about their children’s mental health issues in public online forums, especially as the pandemic has exacerbated children’s mental health problems amid ongoing financial, social and social pressures. isolation and distance learning. Many of the same benefits can be reaped, for example, parents receive support, feel less lonely, and disseminate information about treatment options. However, the most important person in the equation seems to be forgotten: the child.

Whether you share information about a mental health crisis or drug change because you are actively seeking advice, or you share because another parent is experiencing something similar and you want to support or compare records, the end result is a loss of your child’s privacy and quite possibly his trust in you. Your intentions may be good, but the result may be shame or embarrassment; and at least the conclusion is pretty clear: consent to posting information about others on the Internet is optional.

We start teaching children consent from an early age, without forcing them to hug relatives , asking before tickling them , and asking permission to post their photos on social media . This is another extension that allows them to set those boundaries for themselves. How we want our children to behave is directly related to what we model for them. Protect their privacy and they will learn why respecting the privacy of others is so important. Distribute, and so do they.

However, the solution here is simple: just ask them. If you think their story can help someone else online who is having difficulties, they may be happy to share it and be part of an important movement to normalize those conversations, but they will appreciate your request anyway, and it really is. ” … Let me reiterate that they can trust you with complex topics.

If they need immediate intervention or other mental health services, you should definitely get them, but your Facebook group doesn’t need to know.

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