Mental Health Basics

What is Mental Health?

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Mental health....

The Mental Health Spectrum

At different times, our mental health can move along the spectrum depending on life stressors we’re facing, even if we don’t have a mental illness.
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Healthy Functioning as expected and maintaining healthy relationships
Recommend: Self-care, and social support.

Reacting Less healthy responses to stressful events like irritability, procrastinating, trouble sleeping and avoiding being social
Recommend: Self-care, and social support.

Injured Struggling to cope with stressful events; anger, extreme sadness, poor school/work performance, restless sleep, physical pain, and avoiding others.
Recommend: Seek professional care.

Ill Unable to cope with stressful events; easily angered, hopeless, unable to stay asleep, unable to attend/complete task in school/work, isolating and avoiding social events.
Recommend: Seek professional care.

What’s Common as Teens Transition to Adulthood

It's common to experience difficult life events—like changes in your family, the death of a loved one, problems with your grades, breakups, or losing friends—that can change the way you feel. These experiences could alter your mood, maybe making you feel sad, overwhelmed, or nervous. This doesn’t mean you have a mental illness, it might just mean that you are having some difficulty coping. Remember, it’s common to move along the mental health spectrum at different points in your life, so be sure to utilize self-care and social supports when needed. Use the NEXT and BACK buttons to see signs of when you or someone you know might be having a hard time coping.

It’s important to reach out to friends, family, or someone you trust for support when having these feelings and exhibiting these behaviors. Social supports can often help people overcome these difficulties, however, these issues could also be a sign of something more serious like, depression or anxiety.

How to Identify a Problem

It’s important to be able to identify when you’re not responding in healthy ways to stressors and situations. When the feelings and behaviors mentioned above persist for a long time they can become more severe and get in the way of enjoying your life and being able to complete responsibilities (school, work, family). Use the NEXT and BACK buttons to learn signs to identify when you or someone you know may have a more serious problem with coping.

Poor mental health is often associated with rapid social change, stressful home/school/work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, risks of violence, and physical ill-health.

IF YOU ARE suffering with mental health issues – confide in someone you know. People have expressed feeling relieved and hopeful after confiding in someone they trust about their mental health struggles. Your worry and concern will be reduced!

Many people are willing to help when you think you may be experiencing a warning sign:

  • Trusted family member or friend
  • School counselor
  • Spiritual leader

Unfortunately, many people feel uncomfortable talking about mental illness. There is a reason for this…

Learn about society’s role in stigma.