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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I received a call today from my nephews school counselor.

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I received a call today from my nephew's school counselor. He's 13 years old and he told the counselor that he has been having stress and feeling depressed and that he feels like he needs help. He said that he didn't want to tell his dad because he doesn't want to stress him out. His mother is not in the picture. I'm not sure what to do about this because I know my brother and I know how he feels about any kind of psychiatric or mental health problems and he basically thinks it's nonsense. He's the type that doesn't understand depression and would say well you have nothing to be depressed about, so get over it. I'm worried that if I tell him, he will just make him feel worse by telling him that his feelings are not legitimate. Do you have any advice as to what I can do to help him or how to convince my brother that his child needs to get into counseling? I am more than willing to take him to appointments etc. but that will not be the problem.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It can be very hard to change someone's mind when they are set on a certain way of seeing things. The best way to approach your brother is to have someone tell him about his son who he will listen to. Often, for people who are resistant to hearing that counseling is needed, hearing it from a family doctor will hold weight. So you can try calling your nephew's doctor and letting him/her know what the school counselor told you. The doctor may not be able to speak to you about your nephew's situation (confidentiality), but he/she can listen to what you have to say and he/she can call your nephew's father.

You can also ask the school counselor to hold a meeting with your nephew's teacher, counselor and other professionals to talk about his needs to his father. It is hard to ignore a whole group of professionals telling you your child needs help. You can also emphasize to the counselor to tell your brother that they will be following up to see how your nephew is progressing.

You can also offer to do all the work to get the appointment and get your nephew there. If your brother does not have to be involved, he may be more willing to let his son get help.

Finally, try encouraging your nephew to use all the on line and other resources to help himself. Here are some to get him started:

You can also use these resources to help yoru nephew as well.

I hope this has helped you,
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