Whether you have referred a youth for help from another resource or you are providing the help, you may find that over time, people want to quit or give up on the process of getting help.
There can be various reasons to make people want to give up. The help may seem too slow to the youth and family, or sometimes a feeling of well-being occurs from having a plan and getting organized, and this can seem sufficient.
You may need to be supportive and encouraging to urge the youth and family to continue getting help. You may find that barriers exist on the practical side of attending appointments (such as transportation or time off school or work). Try to assess what the individual situation needs and provide assistance if you can.
The appropriate supports the youth and family need may be directly related to the issues that are causing them to want to give up. You may ask yourself:
- Is everyone in the family supporting the help efforts? If you are concerned about this, can you speak to key members, such as parents or other caregivers, and explore further?
- Is mental health stigma an issue? At times, kids and teens may be teased about going to their appointments or find that stigma is attached to the process. What kind of help may be appropriate if this is occurring?
- Depending on your role, you could take an active part in trying to reduce stigma by providing education
- You can also provide support to the individual to encourage continued attendance at appointments.
- See the Getting Help and Stigma section of this website for more information.
- There are times when appointments can interfere with other activities, and support from coaches and teachers can help. Depending on the situation (considering the age of the child or teen, who is involved, what confidentiality issues might be in place), can information be shared to improve tolerance of absences for appointments?
Sometimes youth and their families do need to take a break from the helping process to give them time to process what has occurred. As well, trying to “force” attendance can increase resistance.
Try to identify the positives gained during sessions and focus on reinforcing these. Continue to monitor the situation, and remain open for future helping efforts. Keeping a good relationship with the youth and family can be a very important factor in ongoing help!