Mental Health America
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Help Your Teen Build Healthy Relationships

Mental Health America of Jackson County participated in a mental health workshop about suicide prevention last spring. In surveys done by the participating teachers, one of the areas they felt needed to be addressed within the community was helping teens build healthy relationships. Too many students experience abusive dating experiences and don't know how to rid themselves of the pressures they encounter. Parents and other adults can help teens learn and understand what to do if a relationship shows signs of trouble.

  • Let teens know that in healthy relationships people will trust and respect each other and talk about things that are important to each other. They will support each other's goals and they can disagree and accept their differences without it causing a great deal of harm.

  • Be a role model. Watch your own behavior and show respect for yourself and for others. Learn how to deal with anger in a positive, nonviolent way. Practice problem solving with your teen.

  • Watch for teachable moments. When you spend time with your teen, look for moments to talk-and to really listen. Movies, TV, magazines and the Internet are all full of images about friendship, love and romance. Use them as conversation starters. Listen to music lyrics. If you hear hurtful works, ask "What do those words mean to you?" If you hear a couple arguing, ask, "Do you know people who argue like that?" Talk about other ways to solve problems.

In a healthy relationship, teens should feel good about themselves. They should not feel put down, controlled or pressured to do things they aren't comfortable doing. They should not feel like they have to change themselves in order to be with the other person. If you suspect an unhealthy relationship, offer help. Your teen many not know what to do. If your teen won't talk to you, help him or her find a counselor or another trusted adult to talk with. Make sure your teen knows that everyone deserves a healthy relationship. For more information on about mental health topics, log onto

Contact Us

Laura Stahl
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176