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La santé mentale

Mental health

Mental health

To better understand

Being in good mental health means feeling well. It means feeling good enough to engage with others, to take on the challenges of everyday life, to do your schoolwork or your job. Good mental health also means having the ability to feel fulfilled, manage your emotions, have pastimes—and simply enjoy life! When your mental health is very good, you are said to be thriving.

 

Mental health and physical health go hand in hand. When we improve our physical health, our mental health improves, and when we improve our mental health, we have more energy and feel better. The better a person’s mental health is, the greater their ability to participate in family, school, professional, and community life.

 

It is natural to go through periods of stress, anger, despondency, or sadness. Life is full of ups and downs. And adolescence is a period that requires a lot of energy and adaptation from both teens and parents. That is why it is so important to recharge your batteries and look after your mental health with small everyday actions.

The mental health of teenagers in the Montérégie region

One in two teenagers is in very good mental health.
55 % of boys and 44 % of girls consider their mental health to be very good.

Want to learn more?

Check out our information sheets for more statistics, key facts, and solutions for families, schools, and communities.

To better support

Communication

  • Take an interest in your teen and the things that matter to them. For example, talk to them about their dreams, opinions, preferences, and what they do during the day;
  • Give them your undivided attention when talking to them. Do not do anything else at the same time. Really listen to them, closely and respectfully, without judgement;
  • Try to inject humour into your discussions or lighten them up a little;
  • Go out of your way to tell your teenager that you love them just the way they are and that they are important to you.

Supervision/Guidance

  • Be very clear about your expectations and the house rules. Try to follow them yourself, or at least not overtly break them;
  • Adjust your expectations and disciplinary measures to your teen’s age and maturity level. Bear in mind their increasing need for independence. Also remember that they are not yet capable of reasoning like an adult;
  • Accept that making mistakes and tackling challenges on their own are important learning experiences.

Support

  • Trust your teen. Support them in their efforts to improve and succeed. Encourage them to believe in themselves;
  • Keep an eye out for problems your teenager may be dealing with. Remind them they can talk to you if they are having a hard time. While they may not want to tell you everything, another adult or support worker could be able to help them;
  • Help your teen identify the things that cause them stress and talk about ways to relieve their stress;
  • Help them find solutions to their problems, but it is best if they solve them on their own. Deal with issues quickly before they become insurmountable;
  • Encourage your teen to express their opinion, assert themselves, set personal boundaries and stand up for them;
  • Encourage them to pursue interests outside of the home, spend time with friends, have hobbies, and participate in school and community activities.

At home

  • Take an interest in the mental and physical health of all family members. Allow yourself time to recharge your own batteries;
  • Come up with ways to make your time at home more enjoyable. Create a home where everyone has their own space to be themselves while respecting others;
  • Plan fun things you can do together as a family. Take time to live in the moment, to do things together—that do not always involve screen time;
  • Make improvements to sleep quality and diet for the entire family. Suggest activities that get them outside and moving around: Spending time in nature is excellent for your mental health.

Tips and tricks

  • Did you know that exercising, spending time outside in the sun, doing activities that give you a mental break, and having meaningful relationships with positive people in your life are all great ways to improve your mental health?
  • Encourage your teens to identify their strengths and do things that make them feel excited and fulfilled;
  • Living in the moment and making room for fun is an excellent recipe for good mental health!

In brief

  • As a parent, the most important thing you can do is take care of your own mental health;
  • The teen years and the path to adulthood require a lot of adaptation from teens and their parents: Be kind to each other;
  • Teens are in the process of shaping their identity; they need to be given space to be themselves and be loved for who they are;
  • Respectful, positive relationships based on communication and trust make all the difference;
  • Anything that helps relieve pressure and recharge your batteries will contribute to improving your mental health;
  • Making decisions, feeling useful, and finding meaning in what you are doing will improve your mental health.

Improving your mental health means first taking care of yourself!

Resources and practical tools

1. For support:

If you are dealing with a situation that has you worried, do not hesitate to reach out to a support worker or a health and social services professional:

Info-Santé/Info-Social 811, 24/7 service

Community organizations: family centre, youth centre, etc.

Some community organizations offer support programs for parents of teenagers. Call your local organization for information.

School staff members are also good allies

If you or your teen are having suicidal thoughts and need help, call (24/7):

2. To learn more:

Tools and information (In French only) to help you understand what mental health is and how to improve it (English available).

Latest updates : February 2020

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