Mentor Program for Teens with Migraine

May 20, 2016

teens with migraine

We can all identify with the feeling of relief we experience when we find someone to talk to who has faced problems similar to our own. Teens with migraine suffer from complex issues in addition to chronic pain including social isolation and loneliness. A new pilot study out of Canada wanted to address the unique challenges faced by teens with chronic pain like migraine headache and found that adolescents with chronic pain benefited from the support of a mentor just a few years older.

Mentor Program for Teens with Chronic Pain

The mentor program for teens with chronic pain like migraines included eight weeks of video chats with peer mentors. After eight weeks of getting to know one another, the teens in the program said that they were better able to cope with their pain and other symptoms. Connecting young people dealing with chronic pain can be incredibly beneficial to teens because they may have never met another teenager dealing with pain and might feel like they have nothing in common with other people their age.

Teenagers with Migraines

It is estimated that ten percent of teenagers suffer from migraine headaches, although many of them don’t admit to their parents, teachers or friends that they are suffering from this debilitating, chronic pain. Migraines can cause teenagers to withdraw from friends and family. Chronic headaches can also cause teens to miss many days of school. The impacts of migraine headache can cause teens to get behind in learning and feel isolated, greatly impacting their self-esteem.

How to Help a Teenager with Migraine Headaches

The most important thing you can do for a kid with migraines is to validate their pain. It’s important to acknowledge that while you may not have experienced their pain, you believe that they are in pain. You can also facilitate a plan of treatment for your teen with migraines. By taking his or her pain seriously and helping your child get care for their migraine pain, you can be an advocate for your child with migraines.

It may be hard to find a similar migraine mentor program for your child in your area, but connecting them with other teens who suffer from migraine headaches can make a world of difference for a teen with migraines. Search for Facebook groups or other social network hashtags that can get your teenager connected to other kids with migraines. You can also call your local hospital and ask if they have support groups for kids dealing with chronic pain.

References

  1. http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/migraines.html
  2. https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/coping-managing/young-sufferers/guide-for-parents-and-carers/
  3. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-adolescents-pain-mentoring-idUSKCN0VS2D3

 

 

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