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5 Top Podcasts on Mental Health And Teens: Insights and Advice from Experts

If you have a tween or teen struggling with mental health issues, you are not alone.  We are living in unprecedented times, where depression and suicide, anxiety,  drug and alcohol use, along with many other destructive disorders are skyrocketing in our tweens and teens. It’s a terrifying reality we face as parents in learning how to support our kids and understand the overwhelming issues they are dealing with today. 

I have worked with many moms navigating this difficult road with their kids. I have also talked extensively in many podcasts on mental health and teens (or tweens) with several wise and experienced experts on mental health issues and parenting. 

I’d like to share these podcasts about mental health with you because they will give you the insight, encouragement, advice, and guidance you need as you do your best to support your child. 

In this podcast, I talk with Ciara Fanlo.

Ciara is a writer and the founder of Homing Instinct, a platform that supports teens and their families. As a child and teen, Ciara was depressed, anxious, self-harming, and suicidal. She went to countless therapists, took over a dozen medications, and was sent to a hospital, wilderness therapy, and a therapeutic boarding school. While she had some healing experiences, she largely felt that the psychiatric and residential health care systems failed to address the root causes and acknowledge the humanity and innate wisdom of teens.

What You Will Learn: 

  • What was going on when she was a teenager that she was struggling so much?
  • Was there something at the time that parents could have done that would have been helpful?
  • How do parents impact their kids?
  • Ciara eventually found healing and actually got off medications, and graduated college with honors. What created that shift?
  • What wisdom and insight Ciara has for caregivers with a troubled teen like herself. 
  • What do our teens think when parents try to “help” them better? What do parents do that is helpful and not so helpful?

Find the Podcast HERE.

This podcast is with Dr. Lisa Damour.

Dr. Damour is a clinical psychologist and author of three New York Times bestsellers: Untangled, Under Pressure, and her latest book, The Emotional Lives of Teenagers.  She is also the co-host of the Ask Lisa podcast and is recognized as a thought leader by the American Psychological Association. She earned degrees from both Yale and the University of Michigan and has more than 30 years of experience working with teens and families.

What You Will Learn: 

  • What does emotional health mean for our teens?
  • Some common myths about emotions and how to help your teen manage them.
  • Typical adolescent development of the brain and emotions. 
  • Helping our teens become more independent from us.
  • What is costly coping, and how can parents be on the lookout for it?
  • How do we know when our kids are in distress and need intervention?
  • What are some of the developmental things that are going on that cause teens to be on this emotional roller coaster?

Find the podcast HERE.

If you have a tween or teen daughter, tune into this next podcast with Donna Jackson Nakazawa.

Donna is an award-winning journalist,  internationally-recognized speaker, and mental and physical health expert who has recently released her latest book, “Girls On The Brink: Helping Our Daughters Thrive In An Era Of Increased Anxiety, Depression, And Social Media.”

What You Will Learn: 

  • How does estrogen affect the female brain differently than the male brain?
  • Why is estrogen so powerful, positively and negatively?
  • We’ve stolen away the “in-between years” for our kids and what this means for them. 
  • The adolescent brain is wired to be hypervigilant around assessment and evaluation.
  • Why raising a “happy” child should not be your goal.
  • Creating an atmosphere where your daughter can hear her own internal voice.  
  • What is the number one sign that your child will flourish in adulthood?
  • How to bring down your child’s body and brain stress.
  • A couple of the strategies from her book that we can use to help our daughters with stress and to develop long-term resilience.

Find the podcast HERE

This podcast is with Lauren Cikara of Active Minds.

Lauren is an important conversation about supporting our teens in the area of mental health. Active Minds is the nation’s premier nonprofit organization supporting mental health awareness and education for our teens and young adults.

Through education, research, advocacy, and a focus on young adults ages 14–25, Active Minds opens up the conversation about mental health and creates lasting change in the way mental health is talked about, cared for, and valued in the United States.

What You Will Learn: 

  • How can we support our teens with their mental health?
  • How to talk to our teens about their problems using the Validate, Appreciate, and Refer method.
  • Why are so many still hesitant to discuss mental health and how we, as parents, can help our kids by asking the right questions?
  • Tips to empower your teen when a friend tells them they are having suicidal thoughts.
  • How parents can be better listeners to their teens versus jumping in to fix things.
  • How do we equip our youth to have everyday conversations with each other so that they are paying attention to their peers?
  • How can we discern if it is just a bad day versus if their kid is in a mental health crisis?
  • Why are kids are having so many mental health issues today?
  • Tips for teens transitioning to college and what to look for in terms of mental health support so if it’s needed, your teen knows where to go.

Find the podcast HERE

This last podcast is with Jackie Simmons

Jackie is a TEDx speaker, Radio Show Host, International Best-selling Author, Resilience Master, and co-founder of the Teen Suicide Prevention Society, along with her daughter.

After almost losing her teen daughter to suicide, Jackie has been on a mission to make teen suicide become a thing of the past by breaking the silence and sharing with parents what to say that really works to not only prevent suicide but also to get tweens, teens, and adults to start thinking differently about their lives. 

What you will learn:

  • What happens when we don’t bring up the topic of suicide with our teens/tweens.
  • How our brains are wired to screen out the warning signs with our children.
  • Four questions to ask your tween/teen to break the pattern of thought around suicide and flip that energy into something positive.
  • How parents can train their brain to pay attention to what is positive and the effect this has on our tweens/teens.
  • How teens’ subconscious thoughts form plans and how parents can help.
  • Helping your tween/teen escape the negative echo chamber in their heads.

Find the podcast HERE

If you are struggling with your kid’s mental health, please know you are not alone. You have many moms and experts to help guide you through this difficult time. I hope these podcasts on mental health and teens (or tweens) gave you the insights and advice you need. Hang in there, Mama.

XO, Sheryl

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