The teen years are hard to navigate for any individual. Sometimes professional help might be needed to help parents and their kids through some major changes…
Puberty and the need for assertion see major behavioural changes in many teens. The lack of appropriate tools to navigate this stage could lead a teen down the wrong life path.
At its extremes, teen blues can lead to behaviours such as:
- School performance dropping
- Talking back and not abiding by the parent’s rules
- Oversleeping and binge drinking
- More time in detention due to breaking school rules
- Drug abuse
- Moodiness leading to violence
- Isolation from family and friends
According to clinical psychologist Benedict Mhlongo, “teens are ”susceptible to toxic behaviour as a form assertion.”
Many parents try to understand their teens to better support them. These attempts may fail, and some seek out support from professionals. Substance abuse and suicide prevent are big themes when it comes to parenting a teen, and when parents see red flags, support is required.
Mental health services don’t come cheap for the average South African without medical aid
Even the ones on affordable plans consider the usage of their medical savings and seeing a psychologist might compromise that.
There is, however, free counselling that parents and teens can access through some non-governmental organisations. These organisations are dedicating their efforts to make mental health services accessible to everyone.
Emotional wellness has been on top of the agenda for Lifeline South Africa since its establishment in 1970. Their mission is to offer psychological and social support to the community free of charge. They have 16 centres across SA, and an appointment can be booked with them for a face-to-face counselling session. Lifeline also offers teen development programmes.
Here are the contact details for some of their centres:
- Cape Town: 021 461 1111, Whatsapp Call: 063 709 2620
- Johannesburg: 011 728 1347, Whatsapp Call: 065 989 9238
- Durban: 031 303 1344
Click here to find more centres and contact details across the country
The South African Depression And Anxiety Group (SADAG)
With counsellors available 24 hours, The South African Depression And Anxiety Group (SADAG) is a trusted organisation in SA when it comes to mental health awareness and support. Their website offers comprehensive resources to help parents and teens navigate some of the challenges they encounter. They also host several online conversations to support people with issues related to mental health.
In collaboration with private companies such as Cipla, SADAG has a Whatsapp line people can text for counseling. The Whatsapp number is 076 882 2775.
Other important contact details are:
- Dr Reddy’s Help Line: 0800 21 22 23
- Cipla 24hr Mental Health Helpline: 0800 456 789
- Pharmadynamics Police &Trauma Line: 0800 20 50 26
- Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline: 0800 70 80 90
- Department of Social Development Substance Abuse Line 24hr helpline: 0800 12 13 14
- Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567
- SADAG Mental Health Line: 011 234 4837
- Akeso Psychiatric Response Unit 24 Hour: 0861 435 787
Hope House, Cape Town
Hope House has three centres in Cape Town, and also offers online counseling sessions and been operating since 2004. It believes that “counselling is a safe space where the client is able to go through a therapeutic, healing process.” They are currently open for face-to-face and Cape Town residents are welcomed to book a session.
They also run school programmes that parents can enquire about that support teens in this important stage that leads many of them down the path of drug usage and addiction.
Their important numbers are:
- Bergvliet: 021 715 0424 or 071 328 3715
- Kuils River: 021 903 0521 or 071 410 1091
- Table View: 021 522 9228
- Online sessions: 084 557 7525
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