Commonly Asked Questions About Child & Teen Mental Health

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

In this ask me anything format, Dr. Lisa Coyne answers audience questions about mental health in children and teens.

This content is also available in Spanish.

Questions include:

  • If my 15-year-old is being overly sulky lately, how can I get through to them without making it sound like I think they’re exaggerating how they’re feeling? I know things are hard as a teen even when they’re small problems. But I don’t want to be patronizing.
  • My son is 5 years old and often has troubles getting to the bathroom before he has an accident. My son does have an autism diagnosis, but I am really not sure if that has anything to do with this. He is starting school, and I know his wetting his pants at school will be traumatic. I feel like I don’t have the tools to deal with this compassionately. I don’t want to get mad but find myself often very frustrated. I want to validate him, but I feel surprised and overwhelmed. Maybe there is something that I can do for myself so I don’t respond with judgment?
  • Some children are struggling when out in public with their families, saying things like “I’m scared of the germs” or “I’m afraid of masks.” Families are feeling stuck as to how to reassure kids and make them feel more comfortable leaving the house. Any resources or thoughts to share with families?
  • How do we prepare a teen with anxiety for the unknown of next school year as they prepare to be away from home for the first time?
  • How is OCD different from children to adults?
  • How do you recommend finding an evaluation for a preteen who may be struggling with the onset of a depression-related disorder?
  • How do you discipline a child who does not care about consequences?
  • My daughter began menstruating at eight years old, and her ability to manage emotions around that time is becoming more difficult as she gets older. How can I help her navigate her emotions?
  • How do you recommend helping a child who carries resentment towards their parents around circumstances that could not be avoided? Our child still holds things against us many years later.
  • Recently my seven-year-old participated in group bullying behavior online. We took away privileges, but what are some educational ways to respond to continue to address this type of behavior?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.

About the Webinar

Mental health is an enormous component of overall health for both children and teens alike. The World Health Organization reports that across the globe, 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. But there is hope: the earlier they are addressed, the more effective treatment can be.

Dr. Lisa Coyne answers audience questions to address topics in child and teen mental health.

Additional Resources

Parents may also find these resources helpful:

About Dr. Coyne

Lisa W. Coyne, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, and is a senior clinical consultant at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.) at McLean Hospital.

Dr. Coyne has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting. She is the author of “The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years,” a book for parents of young children.

Recent books by Dr. Coyne:

Learn more about Dr. Coyne.

More Webinars

It’s important to think about ways to manage your mental health. McLean is committed to providing mental health and self-care resources for all who may need them. You and your family may find these strategies from McLean experts helpful to feel mentally balanced in your everyday lives.

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