Parents, Don’t Wait to Help

It was around Christmas when my family decided to get together after being apart for a while. My aunt and cousin showed up, and we played games on my brother’s PS4 system.

Nieyomi Adams
Nieyomi Adams

Nearing the end of the night, my mom jokingly mentioned my grade in Spanish, and my stomach turned. I already knew where this was going, and she began comparing me to my cousin who had a better grade than me. I felt like crying. This made me feel so low because I had already felt like I wasn’t good enough.

My grandma picked me up, and I stayed with her for about a month. I asked my mom if I could start going to therapy, but it never happened. This felt like my feelings were being minimized.

Some of my friends also have experienced things like this before. According to Sandstone Care Statistics 2023, 64% of teens report having mental health issues and not getting proper help. In my experience, it was difficult to even accept that there was anything wrong, let alone ask for help.

If one gathers the courage to ask for help and is blatantly ignored, that is detrimental to their already poor mental state. Asking for help and being denied can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. According to BMC Psychiatry, 27% of teens report thoughts or self-harm, and 15% report acts of self-harm.

When parents hear from their children they need help, it’s essential to connect kids to professionals. If I had gotten the proper help, I could’ve faced my mental health issues sooner.

This story was produced at ThreeSixty’s Op-Ed Workshop in fall 2023. Nieyomi worked with Sahan Journal Reporter Katelyn Vue, a ThreeSixty alum and Star Tribune reporter Chloe Johnson to finish her story. Click here to read more stories from the workshop.