The Place


Watch for these signs in your teens as school starts and look for opportunities to talk

Posted at 2:13 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 16:13:27-04

LifeLine for Youth is a counseling and treatment center for teens struggling with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, drug-use, school failure, family conflict, and anything else that is getting in the way of them being happy and successful.

We were joined by Shane Petersen, CEO of the LifeLine for Youth Program, he's worked with youth for more than 30 years. and LifeLine has also been serving Utah families for that long as well.

They offer residential treatment with 24-hour care, day treatment where teens still live at home and go to LifeLine during the day and intensive outpatient services which is after school or work three nights a week.

Shane says school starting can be very stressful, even without COVID-19.

He says everyone has stress and anxiety at times which is very normal, but as a parent you probably know what it looks like when your teen is really stressed about something:

He gave us some signs to watch for:

  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Poor appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Overly emotional
  • Withdrawn
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not fitting in
  • Avoiding things

Shane says parents should look for opportunities to talk to their teen, helping teens manage anxiety and depression starts with open communication.

He suggests parents start talking to teens now about the upcoming school year, what they are excited about, what they are dreading, etc.

Shane says a change of scenery can help, put the device down and talk a walk or drive together.

Healthy ways to manage stress and anxiety include:

  • It starts with getting enough sleep. Teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Exercise
  • Good nutrition
  • Avoiding caffeine – for some kids
  • Laughter and fun as a family

Severe anxiety can interfere with normal functioning, making it difficult for teens to focus on their school work. Some teens get depressed, suicidal, or turn to drug use to help them cope.

If anxiety or depression is getting worse and getting in the way of life, seek professional help.

You can get in touch with LifeLine by calling 801-936-4000 or at