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Van Gogh image from Britannica Image Quest and rights cleared for educational use.
According to the World Health Organization, Mental Health is defined as
“A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Even the healthiest of adolescents have tough times. Even the best adjusted have periods of depression, anxiety and despair.
Every culture has to address psychological health it is a universal human requirement. No matter where we are from, what school we attend, what we do for a living all of us have to understand how to attain and sustain mental health.
Mental Illnesses are medical disorders of brain functions. They have many causes and result from complex interactions between a person’s genes and one's environment.
Mental illnesses include:
Having mental illness is not a choice or moral failing. The fact is, mental illnesses occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and all socioeconomic group. Like any other medical condition, mental illness requires treatment.
- 20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition. That's 1 in 5 teens.
- 10% or more of adolescents experience concurrent depression.
- 8% or more of adolescents have long term anxiety
At times, any person may feel "crazy" and/or out of control. Mental illness is not defined by short term experiences of symptoms but more frequently the long term symptoms.
Each mental illness has its own set of symptoms but some common signs can include the following
- Excessive worry or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to people
- Changes in sleep habits or feeling tired and low energy
Not getting help often has more to do with the stigma of being seen as crazy. In reality, taking steps to get help for yourself or someone you know is like taking your epi-pen or asthma inhaler with you when you go on a hike in the woods. Not crazy, smart.
Remember, having mental illness is not a choice or moral failing. Mental illnesses occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and all socioeconomic group.
Mental illness–whether it is mild, moderate or severe–is almost always treatable.
Taking steps to get help for yourself or someone you know can be hard, but it is very important.
- Talk to a trusted adult
- Talk to the school counselor
- Talk to the school nurse
- Talk to a trusted teacher
- Talk to a trusted family member
- Talk to your physician
Do not sit in silence or pain. Know that you are not alone.
Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety
by In PDF format
You'll learn tips for dealing with specific situations that cause anxiety, such as public speaking, social anxiety, test anxiety, and more. You'll also learn special breathing exercises to help calm you in moments of panic, and guided visualization exercises to help you stay cool and collected, even in the tensest situations.
Publication Date: 2014
Depression and Stress by "Provides comprehensive information on depression and stress, including first-person interviews, signs and symptoms, physical dangers, recovery, and solutions"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: 618.928 Mar
Publication Date: 2013
Explore other guides in this series
Brain Basics provides information on how the brain works, how mental illnesses are disorders of the brain, and ongoing research that helps us better understand and treat disorders.
Bring Change 2 Mind
Learn about the Stigma surrounding mental illness as well as facts and myths around this topic. You can call their teen talkline at 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255
Kids' Link RI
A hotline that connects parents and caregivers to children’s mental health services in Rhode Island and is available 24 hours a day. Call 1-855-KID LINK or 1-855-543-5465
Mental Health Resources
An annotated list of books, websites, and more relating to mental health issues.
OK 2 Talk
A website to share what's on your mind about mental health.
The Samaritans of Rhode Island
You can call their 24 hour Hour Crisis Hotline/Listening Line at 1-800-365-4044
Wheeler Health Center
Nurse McKenna, Nurse Hughes, and Ms. O'Neil are great resources for all of us right here on campus. You can find their office on the first floor of the Madden Gym.