CLEVELAND, Ohio —  When it comes to young people, their social lives can often be what’s most important to them. Social distancing has not only reduced their social lives, but it’s cancelled milestone events like prom and graduation.

  • An expert says parents should talk to teens about what they're missing
  • Parents should talk to kids about how they're coping and listen to how they feel
  • If a teen is struggling, now is a great time to try teletherapy

“Social isolation affects teens in a different way than it does adults, because this is the time of their life that peer relationships affect their identity formation. In fact, peer relationships may be the most important thing is to them during this time,” said Dr. Susan Albers.

Dr. Susan Albers is a Cleveland Clinic Psychologist and New York Times Bestselling Author. She says talking to teens about what theyre missing is important.

"It's really important to acknowledge that they may have some grief around missing these events. You may even hold an impromptu prom, or acknowledging graduation to a little ceremony. It's not gonna be the same, but it's so important to acknowledge that this is an important milestone in their life.”

Dr. Albers says parents should talk with their kids about how they are coping and make sure to listen to how they feel.

“As parents, we often want to fix it for teens or talk them out of how they feel. Instead, this is the time they really need our support and understanding. Invite conversation candid conversation, it may be difficult to hear, but this is what they need right now. Just listen.”

If a young person is struggling, Dr. Albers says now is a great time to try teletherapy— a convenient way to find the right therapist from the comfort of home.

“More than ever, people who have never even experienced any kind of anxiety and depression are struggling with this, so you are not alone. And, more than ever, people are acknowledging how important it is to pay attention to your mental health and each and every day do something that acknowledges taking care of yourself."