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Information for the community – Updated November 2021
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The Women’s and Children’s Health Network acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of Country throughout South Australia. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing and deep spiritual connection and relationship to land, air, sea, waters, community and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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7 Tips for Building Trust with Young People to help their Mental Health

Tips for building trust
WCHN News
Posted 20 Oct. 2021

Adolescence (10–19 years) is a unique and formative time and can also bring mental health challenges.

To acknowledge Mental Health Month, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) have put together some tips on how to build trust with the young people in your life which can help them feel like they are validated and heard, which is important for their mental health.

1. Give them the opportunity to discuss

  • Put away what you want to say
  • Agree that they can express their views first and you go second

2. Listen with your whole self

  • Stop and put down what you were doing including your mobile phone
  • Focus your full attention to what they are saying

3. Do not interrupt them

  • Young people generally appreciate being properly listened to.
  • Model how to show respect by allowing them space to express themselves

4. Reflect and Focus on Feelings

  • Repeat what you heard with emphasis on feelings, e.g. it sounds like you are upset/sad?
  • Allow them to add anything else
  • Make sure the young person understands you have heard them and validated their concerns

5. Consider the meaning of their words

  • Give yourself an opportunity to reflect and consider your initial thoughts
  • Now that you have a deeper understanding of the ‘why’, it will create a greater context

6. Present your views calmly and thoughtfully

  • If you disagree with their views, your stance will likely be received as wise and loving because you have validated and understood their perspective.

7. Show them how to listen

  • Remain calm and empathic
  • Highlight and reflect how you modelled this and how you to listened to understand whilst they presented their story.

For more information on our Child and Mental Health Services (CAMHS), go to www.wchn.sa.gov.au/our-network/camhs.

If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, we recommend visiting your GP.