If you have a teenager who you know or suspect is struggling with mental health issues, start the conversation about counseling today. You might bring it up casually at first if you think your teen will be opposed to considering it. Encourage them that counseling is for everyone, and that there is no shame in it.
Be careful about forcing them to see a counselor. Sometimes this is necessary, but counseling is typically much more productive and beneficial when a teen comes on their own accord. If your teen is hesitant, ask them questions to figure out why. Keep the dialogue open and be sure to listen to their concerns. It might take time and several conversations before your teenager warms up to the idea of counseling, or even is willing to consider it. Be patient!
Alternatively, if it is your teen who approaches you with the idea of seeing a counselor, support them! It takes courage and trust to bring up something like counseling; let them know that you are proud of them for taking that step. Then research local counseling services for teenagers and find a counselor that your teen can trust.
Don’t wait until something has happened to seek counseling for your teenager. Instead, look for a counselor who can support your teenager through whatever they may be going through internally.