A few parents have remarked in the past that group wasn't the right level of support for their teen because they didn't believe that a "social hour" would ultimately help their depression or anxiety.
But here's the deal...
Support support has been scientifically proven to be the #1 indicator of overall wellbeing in humans. It leads to improved symptoms of anxiety and depression, better physical health (and actually higher incomes too!)
Here are three reasons that group WORKS and why it's a valuable layer of support for your teen:
Group helps your teen experience and understand that they are not alone.
Being in a group with others who have similar struggles normalizes this experience to help your teen understand that they are not weird, bad, wrong or different for having the feelings that they do. It allows them to feel heard and understood and this validation is the first step towards making any changes.
Group helps your teen learn to love and accept themselves for exactly who they are.
The experience of showing up week after week, being able to "take off the mask" they wear at school and allow themselves to be know for who they are at their core is a priceless experience that most don't get in life. It allows your teen to actually live the truth that they are accepted for exactly who they are which leads to courage, confidence and sky-rocketing self-esteem.
Group provides your teen with a built-in accountability system.
Group members support each other in making healthy decisions. I've had group members commit to quit smoking, end toxic relationships, finish school work and more... and they actually follow through because they have PEERS checking in on them on a weekly basis to hold them accountable and cheer them on.
There are MANY ways to find a social support system for your teen.
Whether you decide on group as a way to help your teen find support, or you seek connection for your teen elsewhere, our mission is to help your teen understand that they are not alone.
(The key is to find a social support that your teen is interested in so that they will actually invest in the process.)
As Montgomery County's Teen Support Center, we've collected a list of local resources for 7+ ways to increase your teen's social support system.