Promoting conversations with children about the importance of living healthy lives has lasting impact and is a critical part of addressing our children’s mental health. Simply having regular conversations with your child is an effective tool to prevent drug use and support their mental health. The Start Talking! program encourages age-appropriate conversations with children, early and often during their lives and provides information to educate parents on this issue and empower them to have these conversations
Below are a few ways to get started.
Start Talking! tips for Parents, Guardians and Caregivers
Be open and honest. Model what it looks like to share your feelings in a healthy way.
Be direct. If you notice a change in your child or a sign that something is wrong, approach them about it in a loving, direct manner.
Have regular conversations with your child.
Take advantage of “teachable moments” or other natural conversation starters.
Stay up to date. Sign up for Know! parent tips for ongoing information.
Featured in this section
This national resource provides examples of signs and symptoms related to mental health concerns.
On Our Sleeves
Nationwide Children’s campaign that focuses on the importance of talking to your kids about mental health.
SAMHSA’s substance use prevention campaign helps parents and caregivers start talking to their children early about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.