Some teens may be experiencing significant losses because of COVID-19. Important life events and experiences may have been cancelled or paused for the foreseeable future. As a result, teens may need extra emotional and mental health support from caring adults right now.

“Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders have taken a toll on many Oregonians. This is especially true for teens who may be missing out on important life events and experiences that would typically take place at this time of year such as prom, graduation, competitions, etc. It can be hard to watch your teen struggle with these losses and feel like there’s nothing you can do to fix it. Parents and other caring adults, however, can make a difference by following these simple, evidence-based tips to help teens cope under these circumstances.

  • Acknowledge their loss and their feelings about the loss
  • Name their feelings and demonstrate empathy
  • Teach them about grief and try to model acceptance of the situation
  • Help them find meaning by supporting others in the community

Young people need caring adults in their lives, now more than ever, who they can rely on for support, instead of turning to other risky behaviors like substance use as a coping mechanism. The Shared Future Coalition website includes updated resources for parents to help their teens during this difficult time. For more resources, check out: sharedfuturecoalition.org/resources/for-parents.

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