April 17th, 2009
Hotlines and Web Sites for Parents

According to experts – symptoms of depression or other mental illnesses in adolescents are not to be ignored. If you’re concerned about your teen, talk to him/her and seek professional help immediately. Below is a list of resources.


National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Both toll-free, 24-hour, confidential hotlines which connect you to a trained counselor at the nearest suicide crisis center.

National Alliance of the Mentally Ill: 1-800-950-6264
Toll-free, confidential hotline operating Mon.-Fri., 10 am- 6 pm (EST). Trained volunteers provide information, referrals, and support to anyone with questions about mental illness.


The Jed Foundation
The Jed Foundation offers programs and resources that will help you learn more about your child’s emotional health and what you can do to support them if they are struggling.

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Under the link to “Facts for Families,” you can find detailed information on the symptoms of adolescent mental illness, and where to seek help.

Not My Kid
A non-profit organization born out of the real life experience of a family dealing with substance abuse with their teenage son, this Web site provides information and resources for families about teens at risk for destructive behavior – including a list of warning signs and symptoms, and tips on how to take preventative action.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
A go-to resource for comprehensive information on all diagnosable mental illnesses, statistics, government-funded research and trials, and information about treatment. Its Child & Adolescent Mental Health page lists all the mental disorders that affect young people, and research and reports on each topic.

About Our Kids: New York University’s Child Study Center

Devoted to improving the treatment of child psychiatric disorders through scientific practice, research, and education, and to eliminating the stigma of being or having a child with a psychiatric disorder. The Center’s site offers parents thorough information on when and how to seek help, definitions and symptoms of mental illnesses, and a list of links to helpful resources online.

National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots organization for people with mental illness and their families. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
A non-profit organization dedicated to reducing loss of life from suicide. Its Web site offers tips on how to reach out to those at-risk for suicide, as well as helpful statistics and resources in every state.

The Suicide Prevention Action Network
A non-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide through public education and awareness, community action and federal, state and local grassroots advocacy. Its Web site serves as an online resource center aimed at providing authoritative and problem-specific information about suicide prevention.

Families for Depression Awareness
An organization that helps families recognize and cope with depressive disorders, and prevent suicide. Its Web site contains helpful resources, and inspirational stories about recovering from mental illness.

This Web site provides valuable information and educational resources that will help.

American Association of Suicidology
AAS is a membership organization for all those involved in suicide prevention and intervention, or touched by suicide. AAS is a leader in the advancement of scientific and programmatic efforts in suicide prevention through research, education and training, the development of standards and resources, and survivor support services. Its Web site includes resources for helping those who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts, and inspirational stories from suicide attempt survivors.

Teen Moods
Teen Moods is a depression support community created by an adolescent with depression, and is open to all including teens and parents.

Depression Forums
A supportive, informative Web site that offers a caring, safe environment for members to talk to their peers about depression, anxiety, mood disorders, medications, therapy and recovery.

Beech Acres Parenting Center
Beech Acres Parenting Center offers parents guidance and support with its ultimate goal of strengthening parents’ ability to raise children who achieve their unique potential.

Protecting Your Child’s Mental Health:  What Can Parents Do?
A Parenting guide from the JED Foundation.

The TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University is a non-profit privately funded public health initiative working to increase youth access to regular mental health checkups and the early identification of mental illness. TeenScreen Schools and Communities is the National Center’s flagship program, offering mental health checkups to youth through more than 500 local sites in 43 U.S. states. Visit the Web site to read facts/figures about teenage mental health, and to learn more about the National Center’s programs and initiatives. You can also call the center’s information line at 866-833-6727.

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