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Empowering Teens: Tips for Improving Mental Health

May is National Mental Health Month

Mental health, once a taboo topic, is increasing in popularity as we're blossoming into a world where it's becoming a daily conversation. May is National Mental Health Month, and this month, we're joining the conversation by exploring all things mental-health-related for teens, including: 

  • Teen Mental Health Statistics

  • How You Can Improve Your Mental Health

  • Additional Mental Health Resources 

  • & more! 

Teen Mental Health Statistics 

Because of the increasing conversation around teen mental health, research is becoming more common and informative as we dig into how teens are experiencing mental health and removing the barriers of where and how we can help. Some of the most prominent statistics include:

These statistics – and more – are helping us understand what's going on and how you can focus on your mental health or help someone who may be struggling with theirs. 

How You Can Improve Your Mental Health

Taking care of yourself is an important habit, especially before graduating from high school and entering the next phase of life – whether college, trade school, or the workforce. 

Prioritizing mental health can be done in simple, quick ways that you weave into your daily life to experience the lasting benefits. Here are six ways to get started on improving your mental health:

  1. Journal: Unpacking your day, making lists, and tracking your thoughts can reduce stress and help you feel more focused and attentive. 

  2. Get outside: Exposure to sunlight can increase the brain's release of serotonin, which is associated with boosting mood and helping you feel calm and focused.

  3. Exercise or Meditate: A study from 2024 found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%.

  4. Get social: loneliness is so easily overlooked as a cause for mental health challenges. Finding small ways to reconnect with others may help you feel less alone and alleviate some symptoms. This can be as simple as coffee with a friend or attending a craft class at your local library. 

  5. Volunteer: Volunteering can improve mental health by reducing stress, increasing happiness, and finding purpose. Need help finding an opportunity? Connect with your school, church, or VolunteerMatch

  6. Talk to someone: Don't be afraid to reach out for help. A caregiver, guidance counselor, or trained therapist can be a safe and healthy way for you to express your feelings, discuss treatment options, and feel less alone during this challenging time. 

How You Can Help Someone Experiencing Mental Health Challenges

  1. Reach Out to Them: if you think someone you know is experiencing mental health challenges, gently reach out to see if they want to talk or need help. 

  2. Offer resources: If they are facing challenges, offer resources you can. At the end of this article, we will include local resources -- if you are outside of Ohio, Google resources in your area to help connect them. 

  3. Give them time and understanding: Patience, time, and understanding are the first steps in helping someone experiencing mental health challenges. Approach the situation with gentleness, willingness to listen, and open-minded answers. 

Additional Mental Health Resources 

  • Crisis Text Line in Ohio: "Text 4hope to 741741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor within 5 minutes. This service is free, confidential and available 24/7. Data usage while texting Crisis Text Line is free, and the number will not appear on the phone bill with the mobile service carrier. It is available to all ages."

  • YouthMOVE Ohio: "YouthMOVE Ohio is a youth and young adult led organization devoted toward improving services and systems to promote youth inclusion, mental wellness, positive supports, and healthy transitions. The organization empowers youth to advocate for themselves and live healthy, meaningful lives."

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid: "Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis."

Remember, if you (or a loved one) are struggling with your mental health, you are not alone. It can be challenging, but knowing what's happening and how you can handle it can be life-changing. 

What is Celebrating One? 

CelebratingOne is on a mission to encourage and empower families and individuals who are less fortunate and economically disadvantaged and who need guidance and financial aid to keep moving forward to good emotional, mental, and financial health. Learn more about us here

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