Home Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy Teletherapy for Kids and Teens: A Parent’s Guide to Online Mental Health Support

Teletherapy for Kids and Teens: A Parent’s Guide to Online Mental Health Support

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Today, many parents realise the importance of mental health. They also recognise how mental illness is becoming increasingly common among younger individuals. That’s why many turn to teletherapy.

If you suspect your kid needs support for mental health care, virtual therapy can be an effective solution. Online counselling offers excellent mental health support in a comfortable setting, making it a viable option for you to fit seamlessly into your family’s routine.

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy involves psychological counselling and therapy via the internet. It enables licensed therapists and clients to communicate through video calls, chat applications, or phone calls. Patients engage in therapy sessions like they would in person, but it’s more convenient for those who need flexible support.

Teletherapy has become a popular counselling avenue, especially since the emergence of Covid. A survey conducted by Time Magazine and Harris Poll National Surveys revealed a sharp increase in telehealth usage due to the pandemic. About half of the respondents reported using teletherapy since the onset of the pandemic – up from 25% beforehand.

Furthermore, 80% of companies now believe virtual health will be major in the future of health care – a dramatic increase from 52% in 2018. Online counselling has become vital to many lives, making up much of the mental health care sector today.

Benefits of teletherapy for kids and teens

Teletherapy offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for children and teenagers who need mental health support:

  • Accessibility. Virtual mental health care breaks down geographical barriers, allowing your kid to access support regardless of where they live.
  • Convenience. Online sessions mean zero travel time and you can schedule appointments around a busy schedule more easily.
  • Familiarity. Teens and children are comfortable with technology, making online counselling a more natural fit in their lives.
  • Anonymity and privacy. Teletherapy provides a sense of privacy, which may encourage them to engage more openly with their therapist.

Potential challenges to consider

While teletherapy offers numerous benefits for kids, there are potential concerns, such as data privacy. In teletherapy, licensed therapists store sensitive conversations and personal information digitally, which can pose a risk if improperly protected.

But many use advanced software encryption to secure communication channels and comply with health information privacy standards like HIPAA. You should still inquire about specific security measures, as well as prepare for technical issues like unstable internet connections.

When to seek teletherapy for your child or teen

Certain signs can indicate a need for professional support, such as behaviour changes. Watch for signs like avoidance of social activities or sudden declines in academic performance. Dramatic shifts in mood also suggest your kid may benefit from professional intervention.

Stressful events may trigger emotional and behavioural responses. Whether it’s a family divorce, the death of a loved one, or school bullying, online therapy can address the underlying issues of their mental stress.

Additionally, if your child struggles to communicate their feelings or seems constantly misunderstood, therapy can provide a safe space to express themselves. As such, it helps them develop better communication skills over time.

How to choose the right provider

Choosing the right teletherapy provider is crucial to ensuring your little one receives the best mental health support. When matching them to the right provider, it’s essential to check that the therapist has a licence and experience working with younger individuals. It’s also important that your kid feels comfortable with the therapist. 

Many offer an initial consultation, which can be a good opportunity to determine if their approach fits your child’s personality. You should also see if your insurance covers these services or if they have affordable pricing plans. Some platforms offer sliding scale fees based on income.

Amwell provides access to various health care providers and can prescribe medication if necessary. It’s also great for kids younger than 13, as many other platforms make this the minimum age requirement. For teens, consider teen counselling. This platform connects younger individuals with therapists experienced in adolescent mental health, making it a great choice for teenage-specific issues.

Empower your child or teen with teletherapy

Teletherapy can help your child or teen in numerous ways. You can even support their mental health from the comfort of your home. Deciding which provider is right for your kid can be the first step to nurturing a healthier, happier future for them.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.


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