In 2022, being a teen or young adult is fraught with the additional weight of living in a pandemic, where social contact has been significantly altered, and life’s routines disrupted. Youth face challenges beyond growing pains, fitting in, and school grades. On top of “normal” teen issues, youth today are anxious about an increasingly uncertain future. From both the personal and national lens, the future can seem daunting if not downright frightening.

So, what can we do to support our youth? As there is no guarantee a troubled teen will talk to a family member, parents and families need to create a safe space where real conversation occurs. A family accustomed to discussing the day’s events and challenges will have an easier time supporting a family member when the conversation becomes challenging.