(2023, July) | Useful for Parent Centers and community organizations supporting teens and youth with disabilities in finding their own voice and motivation for positive choices


This series of articles comes from the Child Mind Institute, with most articles available in English and Spanish. Organized as a newsletter, the stand-alone articles discuss the importance of finding the motivation to make positive lifestyle changes, which can be hard for anyone. For teenagers, it can be especially difficult when  parents are the ones telling them to do it. But if they’ve fallen into unhealthy habits like vaping or alcohol abuse, change can be beneficial. Motivational interviewing is a form of therapy that creates a safe, non-judgmental environment for teens to establish their own goals and values and see how changing unhealthy behaviors can benefit them in the long run.

Why might teens be resistant to therapy and how can parents and others to help them get the treatment they need? The articles explain how motivational interviewing can help teens gain the self-confidence to make important behavioral changes. Insights are shared as to why teens with mental health disorders might be more susceptible to substance use, what parents should know about teen drinking, and how parents and others can talk to teens and youth about drug use.

Access the entire newsletter here.  For your convenience we’ve also listed the individual articles (and links to their English and Spanish versions) below.

What Is Motivational Interviewing?
A deep dive into a form of therapy that helps teens change unhealthy behaviors.
(Spanish | ¿Qué es una entrevista motivacional?

Helping Resistant Teens Into Treatment
And why they need to want to get better to actually get better.
(Spanish | Cómo ayudar a los adolescentes que rechazan el tratamiento)

Mental Health Disorders and Teen Substance Use
Why it’s especially tempting — and risky — for kids with emotional or behavioral challenges.
(Spanish | Uso de sustancias y trastornos de salud mental en adolescentes)

What Parents Should Know About Teens, Drinking and Drugs
And how to help your child make good choices.
(Not yet available in Spanish)

How to Talk to Your Teen About Substance Use
Research shows that clear rules help keep kids safe.
(Spanish | Cómo hablar con su adolescente sobre el uso de sustancias)