When upsetting events occur in our communities and unfold 24/7 in the news, parents face the often difficult task of talking with their children and teens about what happened. These aren’t easy conversations. As a parent, you want your children to feel safe, but how do you do that when you may be struggling yourself?
“Life will present our children with change, tragedy, loss, and illness — we can't avoid it,” said Don Mordecai, MD, national mental health leader for Kaiser Permanente. “Show your children that when they experience extraordinary news, negative emotions, or distress, you’ll be there to listen and to help. Above all else, take steps to be present, honest, and a source of comfort and calm.”
Dr. Mordecai offers these suggestions to help parents and children have these conversations:
For additional tips for starting a conversation with your children and getting support for yourself or for someone you care about, visit FindYourWords.
Parents, be sure to look for tools to help support your mental health and wellness. Today’s digital world offers a dizzying array of apps and tools, and it’s often hard to pick through them to find trusted sources. Take advantage of myStrength and Calm, digital self-care apps that provide mental wellness and mindfulness resources to Kaiser Permanente members at no additional cost.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or other mental or emotional issue, it’s important to get connected to the care and support you need. Kaiser Permanente members can visit kp.org/mentalhealth to get connected to care. We’re offering many of our services virtually, for added convenience and safety. For immediate help for a mental health crisis, including thoughts of suicide, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.