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    We care about you and want to make sure that you are taking care of both your physical and
    mental health.  

    We get it. We know that you deal with pressure and stress relating to your schoolwork, your friends, your family and many other expectations. And some of you may be faced with more challenging circumstances beyond your control. Some things that you deal with are common age appropriate feelings and behavior.

    But sometimes there are other factors at play that are beyond your control. We are talking about your mental health....Please don't ignore it!  Tell someone.
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    The Mayo Clinic says “ Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions, disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior.


    Some examples of mental illness include:crisistextline

    Many people have mental health concerns from time to time.But a mental health  concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).” 

     

    Mayo Clinic. (2015). Mental illness - Symptoms and causes. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/symptoms-causes/syc-20374968

     

    Did you know......

    Mental health conditions are common among teens and young adults. 1 in 5 live with a mental health condition—half develop the condition by age 14 and1-5people three quarters by age 24. NAMI (2017)


    For some, experiencing the first signs can be scary and confusing. Discussing what you are going through with others is an important first step to getting help. Speaking up and asking for help is a sign of strength. You will be amazed by the support you get simply by asking.

    A mental health condition isn't your fault or your family's fault—it develops for complicated reasons that researchers are only starting to understand. But we understand a lot about how you can live well with a mental health condition—and you have the power to take the steps necessary to improve your mental health.

    Mental health services and supports are available and the earlier you access them the better. Many teens and young adults live full lives with a mental health condition. More and more teens and young adults are speaking out about their experiences and connecting with others. Check out Ok2Talk to see what others are saying. You are not alone—there are others out there going through the same things you are.

    NAMI.org. (2017) Teens & Young Adults | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Find-Support/Teens-and-Young-Adults

     

    What Is Mental Health?

    Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. 

    This is a You Tube video from an Australian organization called ClickView,
    This program aims to examine the mental health issues relevant to young

     

    Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

    • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
    • Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse
    • Family history of mental health problems

     

     

    Warning Signs

    Not sure if you or someone you know is living with mental health problems? Experiencing one or more of the following feelings or behaviors can be an early warning sign of a problem: 

    • Eating or sleeping too much or too littlegettingtherightstart
    • Pulling away from people and usual activities
    • Having low or no energy
    • Feeling numb or like nothing matters
    • Having unexplained aches and pains
    • Feeling helpless or hopeless
    • Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
    • Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
    • Yelling or fighting with family and friends
    • Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
    • Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
    • Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
    • Thinking of harming yourself or others
    • Inability to perform daily tasks like personal hygiene, getting to school, doing homework or going to work. Mentalhealth.gov. (2018). What Is Mental Health? | MentalHealth.gov    https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health

     

     

     

    How to cope day to day:
    Accept your feelings
    Despite the different symptoms and types of mental illnesses, many families who have a loved one with mental illness, share similar experiences. You may find yourself denying thewarning signs, worrying what other people will think because of the stigma, or wondering what caused your loved one to become ill. Accept that these feelings are normal and common among families going through similar situations. Find out all you can about your loved one’s illness by reading and talking with mental health professionals. Share what you have learned with others.

    Handling unusual behavior

    The outward signs of a mental illness are often behavioral. A person may be extremely quiet or withdrawn.  Conversely, he or she may burst into tears, have great anxiety or have outbursts of anger.  
    Even after treatment has started, some individuals with a mental illness can exhibit anti-social behaviors. When in public, these behaviors can be disruptive and difficult to accept.  The next time you and your family member visit your doctor or mental health professional, discuss these behaviors and develop a strategy for coping
    Your family member's behavior may be as dismaying to them as it is to you. Ask questions, listen with an open mind and be there to support them.

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    Establishing a support network

    Whenever possible, seek support from friends and family members. If you feel you cannot discuss your situation with friends or other family members, find a self-help or support group. These groups provide an opportunity for you to talk to other people who are experiencing the same type of problems.  They can listen and offer valuable advice.

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    Seeking counseling

    Therapy can be beneficial for both the individual with mental illness and other family members.  A mental health professional can suggest ways to cope and better understand your loved one’s illness.

    When looking for a therapist, be patient and talk to a few professionals so you can choose the person that is right for you and your family.  It may take time until you are comfortable, but in the long run you will be glad you sought help.

    Taking time out


    It is common for the person with the mental illness to become the focus of family life.  When this happens, other members of the family may feel ignored or resentful. Some may find it difficult to pursue their own interests.
    If you are the caregiver, you need some time for yourself. Schedule time away to prevent becoming frustrated or angry.  If you schedule time for yourself, it will help you to keep things in perspective and you may have more patience and compassion for coping or helping your loved one. Being physically and emotionally healthy helps you to help others.
    “Many families who have a loved one with mental illness share similar experiences”
    It is important to remember that there is hope for recovery and that with treatment many people with mental illness return to a productive and fulfilling life.

    (Mental Health America, 2018) 




    This video is from The Mighty. It is a digital health community created to empower and connect people facing health
    challenges and disabilities. http://themighty.com/2016/04/depression-awareness-week-whatyoudontsee/ themighty.com