Forest on a sunny day


Are you a parent supporting a teenager or young adult with mental health challenges?

Over the last couple of years I am seeing more and more teenagers and young people seeking help for anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Often encouraged to come along by a parent desperately seeking help. 

My name is Shelagh Cumming, a Nurse Specialist in Energy Medicine with a great affinity in helping teenagers and young adults recover their mental health and get their life back on track. Why?, because I’ve been there myself as a parent feeling completely out my depth and fearing for my daughter’s future. Now 3 years along the recovery journey, I hope to help you to be the best support you can be to your son/daughter.

You may not believe it right now, but you are the most important support person in your son/daughter’s recovery. There is no-one who knows them better than you. There is no-one more driven than you to help them.

You play a key role in enabling them to develop their self-belief, self-worth and confidence, so that a happy future awaits them.

Speaking to you as a parent of a young adult recovering from mental illness, I wish to share what I have learned from my own journey supporting my daughter throughout her recovery.

As a mother and daughter team we have taken responsibility and lead for our own healing journey. Yes, I said ‘our healing journey’ because along the way I too have had to challenge my fears and alter my behaviour. I had to clear away my feelings of guilt, disappointment and doubt in my own abilities, build my confidence and trust that all would be well. I now feel pride and have the highest respect for my daughter’s positive drive and attitude, as she leads her life with self-will, determination and increasing confidence!


  1. TRUST in yourself! You have the strength and courage to help them through this. So, when you find worry creeping in at night and your thoughts become racing and destructive. STOP yourself right there, and bring yourself to the here and now. Most likely your son/daughter is tucked up in bed and safe. So, trust and take comfort from that moment. Right now, she/he is safe. Focus on your breath and think ‘right now all is well’.
  2. TIME. There will be days when you feel that there is no progress, it may feel that you are going backwards instead of forward. Remember it’s a bumpy road they are on, they are being constantly challenged. Think back to 1 month ago or 3 months ago and recall what it was like then. Progress can be very subtle and you may be unaware of it on a daily basis. Remember when they were wee, you didn’t notice them growing every day but they were and all of a sudden they needed a new wardrobe. I always say slow and steady wins the race. Allow them time to heal at their own pace.
  3. LISTEN – Fantastic your son/daughter wants to chat. As you listen, try to be vigilant to how you react to what you hear. It is so instinctual to jump in with your solutions. You just want to fix them! However, non- reactive listening is what you must learn. Listen without judgement, and avoid taking responsibility or take control of their concern.
  4. NOISE. When feeling stressed or anxious we become much more sensitive to noise. Things like a loud TV with shooting or racing bikes, any loud sudden noise can be distressful. Sometimes it is out with your control but do try to be considerate.
  5. REST. Being in a state of anxiety is exhausting. Some days they will be full of motivation and energy other days they will be shattered. You have not raised a lazy child, they just need rest and understanding.
  6. ROUTINE and PLANNING. Encourage your son/daughter to have a routine and plan their day. Also, get into the habit of letting them know your plans for the day. To an anxious or stressed person knowing what is happening ahead of time helps them to cope with the day ahead.

Always remember that you too have needs, you need rest, support, time to relax and laugh with friends. I haven’t mentioned my husband yet, he has been a quieter support in our journey but a support that is essential in every way. Having time together with your husband/partner is crucial.

My 6 tips have come from my knowledge and experience as a traditional and natural health care professional with personal experience. My intension is to help you in some way, even if it is just to know that you are not alone.

Please note, if you are experiencing any mental health problem I encourage you to seek advice from your General Practitioner who will refer you to the appropriate services available.

As a Nurse Specialist in Energy Medicine I can support and complement the treatment prescribed by your Doctor.

It takes more that a pill to heal.

If you would like more information please feel free to contact me