How to start a conversation with your child about mental health

Behavioral Health

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — NBC4 held a live conversation with Nationwide Children’s Hospital psychiatrist and behavioral health specialist Mary Fristad, PhD.

Dr. Fristad will discuss ways to talk with your child about mental health.

Tips on having a conversation with your child about mental health

  • Mention news items (e.g., on high rates of anxiety and depression in adolescents) and ask your child’s perspective on the topic
  • Be curious about your child’s view before sharing your own
  • Recognize you may have different perspectives on issues
  • Ask questions about the general “climate” at your child’s school/sports team/music group/etc. (Competitive? Supportive?)
  • Realize your child’s social world is likely different than what you experienced growing up
  • Make the most of “captive audience” time (e.g., riding in the car, cleaning up after dinner)
  • Have family dinners with “phones off, family on” (i.e., no cell phones at the table, everyone shares something about their day)


If someone you care about is in an emergency, life-threatening situation, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency department. For crisis situations that are not life-threatening, please call your county’s psychiatric crisis line number. In Franklin County, call (614) 722-1800 for youth and adolescents 17 and under. Ages 18 and older should call (614) 276-2273. If someone you care about is having thoughts of suicide or needs to talk, encourage them to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you prefer to text, you can text “START” to 741-741 where a live, trained specialist will respond back to you.

Celebrate the opening of the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion on March 1

Each Friday in February in the NBC4 News at 5, we’re talking to experts from Nationwide Children’s Hospital as we countdown to the March 1 community open house celebrating the opening of the new Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion! The event is free and open to the entire community as they celebrate America’s largest behavioral health treatment and research center just for children and adolescents, right here in Columbus.

After the expert’s live interview on NBC4 at 5, join them at 5:30 right here on or on the NBC4 Facebook page.

The community open house for the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion features:

  • Behind the scenes tours
  • Family entertainment
  • Information about mental and behavioral health resources in our community
  • Giveaways and fun activities for all ages

Join NBC4, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Big Lots to help stack hands to break the stigma!

Learn more about the Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion features.

This content, in partnership with NBC4, is sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



Trending on

Today's Central OH Forecast

More Forecast

Don't Miss


Storm Team 4 on Alexa