Finding Help for Troubled Teens

By: Jim Freeman
By: Jim Freeman

Knoxville (WVLT) - We reported Monday what family members told us, Amanda McGhee’s father strongly disapproved of her relationship with her Andrew Mann.

He's told the 21-year-old before.

And police believe the relationship, and the fact that she was pregnant with Mann's child led to the killing.

The big question for parents, where can I turn for help dealing with matters like this and where can teens get help too?

Jim Freeman went in search of those answers.

This weekend's tragic events were far more the exception than the rule, but there are ways to get help before the situation gets desperate.

"If desperate measures are being considered, don't. Stop! Think. Call somebody and talk about it,” says Jo Terry, Director of the Community Coalition on Family Violence.

If you're a teen needing help, help is as close as a phone call away.

"For young people that feel like they have no where else to turn, the runaway shelter is there with trained counselors on duty 24-7. Our 24-hour number is 523-2689,” says Mark Wolf, Program Manager for the Runaway Shelter Program.

Professionals understand that it's not easy to place that call.

"We encourage people to be brave. It takes a lot of courage to make a step and make that call for help,” Terry says.

And it's not any easier for parents.

"It's tough being a parent anytime, anyplace. It's especially tough being a parent to a teenager,” Wolf explains.

It may be equally as tough for a parent to call for help when their teen is troubled. Here are some signs that might clue you in.

"A change in behavior. A change in attitude. A change in sleeping patterns. Isolating themselves a lot,” Wolf explains. "There's also help there for parents who don't know where to go to."

Parents can get help from the runaway shelter, too, also by calling 523-2689.

"We also have a wonderful community resource information on to getting social services and mental health services simply by dialing 211,” says Wolf.

Since teens are so savvy with technology, there's a website just for them,

Whatever your situation, whether you're a teen or a parent, the bottom line is.

"It's OK to ask for help,” Wolf says.

Professionals also say your family doctor, a school counselor or minister also offer excellent support.

They stress to make that call, because someone is always there to help.

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  • by Dan Location: New York on Jan 8, 2011 at 08:56 PM
    Mark Wolf is evil!!! Do not need to be around children!!!!!!!
  • by Kaira on Aug 30, 2009 at 05:34 PM
    Parents should know how to control their wild teens. They need proper guidance to bring up there troubled teens.
  • by sturggling teenagers Location: Texas on Apr 4, 2009 at 06:47 AM
    Today most of the teens are experiencing various kinds of disorders by the influence of their peers in most of the cases. Parents are looking for a structured support to help their troubled teens
  • by Troubled Teens Parents Location: Utah on Feb 23, 2009 at 12:35 PM
    I know how it feels to be a father of struggling teens. I understand the situation of Struggling Teenagers while looking for some help for my own son so that he can overcome his problems.
  • by teenagers Location: noida on Feb 19, 2009 at 05:05 AM
    Today teenagers are extremely suffered by various addictions such as drug and alcohol and many more. The teens alcohol addiction centers provide very effective treatment for the recovery from various addictions.
  • by troubled teens Location: USA on Feb 6, 2009 at 05:15 AM
    Helping troubled teens is one of the most important aspects today. Troubled teens need to be guided in a professional manner so that the teen who is suffering with any disorder can come out of it in a healthy manner. There are many troubled teens camps, programs, schools with years of successful history.
  • by Teenagers Location: USA on Jan 7, 2009 at 04:02 AM
    Spiritual programs for troubled youths are very helpful to abolish the symptoms of drugs and alcohol addiction. The students in these programs are offered by religious programs based on the Christian programs to teach the students about the moral values of life.
  • by Ashish Location: India on Nov 18, 2008 at 11:52 PM
    Troubled teen counselors are professional in their field and offer best solutions for preventing the teenage mental disorders, behavioral, psychological problems and drug addiction. Counseling is very effective and plays an important role in fast recovery.


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