Experts: How Parents Can Help Teen Mental Health, Substance Use During COVID

Even as a new vaccine is offering hope of bringing the pandemic to an end, the less obvious side-effects of COVID-19 are still making themselves known. Especially when it comes to teen mental health and substance use issues.

While on the surface it appears that there is currently a steep decline in teen cases of mental health and substance use, it is more likely that there is simply less of an opportunity for those who are well-versed in identifying the more subtle, early warning signs to spend time with teens.

The problem is that at the outset of the pandemic, remote learning became a part of the new normal. Parents were suddenly taking on the additional role of educator. But all too often, it is the school professionals who are the first to notice the warning signs of mental health and substance use issues. Parents are not experts and don’t always know what signs and symptoms to look for and even when the signs and symptoms do make themselves more obvious, parents either don’t know how to react, or think that they can handle the situation at home.

So, what’s a parent to do? In our latest podcast, WGN Radio Personality John Williams, along with Rosecrance Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Wright and Teen Program Director Jason Relle, discuss the impact of COVID-19 and social isolation on teens struggling with substance use and mental health issues, and how parents can recognize the signs and symptoms of a teen in crisis. Topics will include but are not limited to:

  • The current state of teen substance use and mental health in the age of COVID-19.
  • Common misconceptions by parents surrounding substance use and mental health treatment during COVID-19.

Click HERE for the podcast.

Parents who are now playing the role of educator in their home are faced with new and unexpected challenges. Another side-effect of the COVID-19 experience and just one more part of the new normal we’re all adjusting to. Fortunately, they’re not alone; there are people and organizations within their community who they can reach out to for assistance. Either through their schools or through organizations like Rosecrance, help is available.