Being a young person has never been easy. Kids and teens are navigating relationships with friends and family, establishing independence, and figuring out what they want to do with their lives. Meanwhile, a whole lot of hormones are being produced, and their brains are growing rapidly. Scientists believe the hormonal and brain growth storm of adolescence explains why so many mental health issues show themselves at this age.
According to the World Health Organization, one in seven 10-to-19-year-olds experiences a mental disorder of some kind. In fact, teenagers represent 13% of the total number of people with mental health diagnoses globally. Getting a handle on mental health has implications for the rest of teens’ lives. According to the WHO, “the consequences of not addressing mental health and psychosocial development for children and adolescents extend to adulthood and limit opportunities for leading fulfilling lives. ”
Mental wellness for kids and teens depends on more than one factor. It’s important to address mental illness, of course, but establishing healthy habits like mindfulness, healthy communication and friendships, eating and sleeping well, and appropriate use of technology is also important. Fortunately, teenagers can find lots of online and community resources to make sure they have the tools to take care of their mental health for life.
General Mental Health Resources and Tips
National Institution of Mental Health: This website provides information on mental health conditions, treatments, and news.
Mental Health Literacy: Mental Health Literacy focuses on raising mental health awareness by providing information on understanding mental health, signs and symptoms of mental health problems, and how to get help.
Mental Health First Aid: Mental Health First Aid provides training on how to help someone who is experiencing a mental health emergency.
Mental Health America: This website provides information on mental health conditions, treatments, and news.
National Council for Mental Wellbeing: The National Council for Mental Wellbeing provides information and resources on mental health, including facilitating the Mental Health First Aid training.
National Empowerment Center: The National Empowerment Center provides information and resources on mental health, including guidance for creating peer-to-peer support communities.
President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health: The President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health was created to investigate and report on the state of mental health services in America.
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation: The Brain and Behavior Research Foundation funds research on mental health, neuroscience, and psychiatric disorders.
Depression Screening Website: This website provides a depression screening quiz.
Mental Health Resources for Children
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s Youth Resource Page: The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s Youth Resource Page provides information on topics such as ADHD, anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, and bipolar disorder.
Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health: Child Mental Health Awareness: This website provides information on children’s mental health, signs and symptoms of common mental health problems in children, and where to find help.
Parent Test: Your Child’s Mental Health: Pediatric symptom checklist to screen children for mental illness.
Balanced Mind Parent Network: This website provides information and support for parents of children with mental health conditions.
Child Mind Institute: The Child Mind Institute provides information and resources on children’s mental health, including an extensive list of articles and fact sheets.
Kid’s Mental Health Informational Portal: This website provides information on children’s mental health, signs and symptoms of common mental health problems in children, and where to find help.
Little Otter: Childhood Mental Health: This app is designed to connect parents with mental health resources for children, including professional treatment and assessment tools.
Child Trauma Academy: This website provides information and resources on child trauma, including an extensive list of articles and fact sheets.
Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development: Georgetown University is a leader in child and human development research, and provides information on child development, including topics such as attachment, emotions, and resilience.
Kids Peace: Kids Peace provides residential treatment, community-based services, and education programs for children who have experienced trauma and mental health issues.
Mental Health Resources for Teens
National Alliance on Mental Illness: Teen Mental Health Information: National Alliance on Mental Illness provides information and resources on teen mental health, including an extensive list of articles and fact sheets.
Teen Mental Health: Mental Health Literacy’s teen education guide.
Teen’s Health: Kid’s Health’s guide to teen mental health.
Kelty Mental Health Resource Center: The Kelty Mental Health Resource Center provides information and resources on teen mental health, including an extensive list of articles and fact sheets.
The Jed Foundation: The Jed Foundation provides information and resources on college mental health.
For Young People Looking for Help: Mentalhealth.gov: This website provides information on where to find help for mental health problems.
National Library of Medicine: Teen Mental Health: National Library of Medicine provides information on teen mental health and stays up to date with the latest mental health news.
Youth Mental Health at Youth.gov: This website provides an extensive list of resources for youth mental health, broken down by topic.
Mood Gym: Mood Gym is an online program designed to help people with depression. It includes modules on different aspects of depression, such as anger, stress, and self-esteem.
Healthy Teen Network: The Healthy Teen Network provides information and resources on adolescent health, including topics such as sexual health, violence prevention, and mental health.
Social Media and Mental Health Resources
Mental Health Hub- Social Media: This website provides information on how social media can affect mental health, and includes sections on topics such as cyberbullying, body image, and suicide.
Here’s How Social Media Affects Your Mental Health: An article from Mclean Hospital neatly summarizes the impact of social media on mental health.
Media and Mental Health Initiative: The Media and Mental Health Initiative is a Stanford Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences project that provides information and resources on how the media can affect mental health.
Tip Sheet on Social Media Use and Mental Health: Youth Engaged 4 Change provides this tip sheet to help steer youth towards healthy engagement with social media.
Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention: Funded by the state of California, EMM Research Council provides these guidelines on how to talk about mental health on social media in a way that reduces the risk of suicide contagion.
Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health: Statistics from the Center 4 Research on social media and adolescent mental health.
Social Media Tips from the AAKOMA Project: The AAKOMA project provides marginalized youth with social media resources to promote positive mental health.
Support on Social Media: Safety Processes: Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s tips for ensuring social media content is suicide-safe.
Cyber Bullying Resources
Stopbullying.com: Stopbullying.com provides information and resources on cyberbullying, including articles, videos, and fact sheets.
Teens Against Bullying: Pacer’s Teens Against Bullying website provides information and resources on cyberbullying, including advice on how to advocate for yourself and others.
A Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying: Everything a parent needs to know about cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying: Provides information on how to stop cyberbullying, as well as state-by-state information on laws and policies.
Submit: The Documentary: This documentary follows three kids who are fighting back against cyberbullying.
PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center: PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center provides information and resources on all aspects of bullying, including cyberbullying.
University of Nebraska’s Bullying Research Network: The University of Nebraska’s Bullying Research Network provides research and promotes collaboration between researchers.
STOMP Out Bullying: STOMP Out Bullying is an organization that provides information and resources on cyberbullying, including how to get help.
Cyberbullying: Resources for Intervention and Prevention: This scholarly document provides a detailed overview of resources for cyberbullying intervention and prevention.
Cyberbullying: Victims of Crimes Resource Center: The Victims of Crime Resource Center provides information and resources on cyberbullying, including a state-by-state legal guide.
Mindfulness for Teens: This website provides information and resources on mindfulness for teens, including how to get started and FAQs.
Progressive Relaxation Tapes: This website provides a free guided audio relaxation for progressive muscle relaxation.
Five Minutes for Teaching Mindfulness to At-Risk Teens: This article provides a five-minute mindfulness exercise that can be used with at-risk teens.
Mindfulness can Empower Kids and Teens: An overview on how mindfulness can empower kids and teens.
10 Mindful Activities for Teens: This list provides ten mindful activities that can be done by teens.
Stop, Breathe, and Think: An app for youth that teaches mindfulness and compassion through guided meditations.
Calm.com: An app and website offering guided meditation and relaxation exercises.
Insight Timer: Mobile app featuring a virtual bell that helps you time your meditations.
MindShift: Developed by AnxietyBC, this app includes mindfulness and other anxiety coping skills for teens.
Smiling Mind: a web and app-based meditation program developed by psychologists and educators to promote mindfulness.
Screen Time Tips and Resources
FBI Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge: The FBI’s Safe Online Surfing Internet Challenge is a 12-level program that teaches kids how to stay safe online.
Center on Media and Child Health: Boston Children’s Hospital’s Digital Wellness Lab provides resources to parents of children and teens struggling with problematic internet usage.
Raising Digital Natives: Devorah Heitner, PHD’s website. Dr. Heitner wrote Screenwise and provides advice to parents and teens about healthy computer use.
American Academy of Pediatric’s Digital Media Plan: To facilitate family collaboration on the topic of screentime, the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed the Family Media Plan guide.
Internet Matters: Internet Matters provides resources and advice by age and topic.
Family Online Safety Institute: FOSI provides resources to parents and professionals to help encourage a culture of accountability and a sense of digital citizenship online. FOSI also works to change public policy to keep kids safe online.
Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media reviews movies, TV shows, games, and books so parents can monitor content. They also provide resources and advice for talking with Teens.
Action for Healthy Kids: Action for Healthy Kids offers resources for parents to help monitor and limit screentime to healthy amounts.
Healthy Eating Resources
American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Healthy Eating for Healthy Teens: A resource for helping teens make healthy eating choices.
BodiMojo: In the BodiMojo app, teens work with a virtual buddy who encourages them to take small steps that can have a big impact on their health.
Fooducate: This app allows users to compare foods’ nutritional values quickly and provide recipes to try.
Giving Children and Adolescents a Healthy Start Through Nutrition: A guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nutrition.gov: Nutrition.gov offers information about healthy eating and food-related issues for teens and their parents.
National Eating Disorder Association: The National Eating Disorder Association provides general information about eating disorders and resources for getting help.
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders’s mission is to provide support and education about eating disorders.
My Plate: Healthy Eating for Teens: Myplate.gov gives information to teens who want to know what a healthy diet looks like.
Let’s Eat Healthy for Teens: A set of lessons intended to educate teens about what their body needs to be healthy in terms of diet.
Teen Health and Wellness: This app provides information for a wide range of teen issues, including diet and nutrition.
Youth Engaged for Change: Charge Up! Healthy Meals and Snacks for Teens: This booklet provides recipes and tips for healthy eating.
Resources for Improving Self-Image
17 Activities To Build Confidence And Self-Esteem In Teens: This list includes activities that can help teens boost their confidence and self-esteem.
About Face: About Face provides information to equip girls to fight back against the negative impact media has on their self-image.
A Mighty Girl: How to Stop the Tween Confidence Drop By Helping Girls Take on Toxic Thinking: A Mighty Girl offers advice and resources for parents of tween girls who are struggling with their confidence.
Child Mind Institute: 13 Ways to Boost Your Daughter’s Self Esteem: The Child Mind Institute provides thirteen ways for parents to help their daughters feel better about themselves.
Dove: Resources to help parents and mentors raise the self-esteem of young people.
Five Ways to Help Teens Build a Sense of Self-Worth: This list includes ways to help teens feel good about themselves and their accomplishments.
PBS Self Image: The Fantasy, The Reality: This website takes on the challenge of self-image in a world full of media and provides a variety of resources to help teens build a healthy self-image.
Positive Psychology: 18 worksheets and activities to help improve teens’ self-esteem.
Office on Women’s Health: Body Image: Resources for mothers who want to have a healthy body image and help their children do the same.
The Self Esteem Workbook for Teens: Sample Pages: A preview of a full-length book written to help Teens increase their self-esteem.
Resources for Kids Going Through a Family Divorce
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Children and Divorce: This webpage provides information for children of divorce, from toddlers to young adults.
Child Mind Institute: Supporting Kids During a Divorce: Child Mind Institute offers advice for parents on how to support their children during and after a divorce.
Families Change: A Teen Guide: This guide is for teens who are going through or have gone through a family divorce. It offers advice and resources from other teens.
Safe Teens: Dealing with Divorce: This website provides information for teens on how to deal with the stress and emotions that come with a family divorce.
How to tell kids about divorce: An age-by-age guide: This guide provides tips for what to say to children of different ages about divorce. It is written by a clinical psychologist.
I Am a Child of Divorce: Resources to support kids going through a family divorce, including workbooks and advice.
My Family’s Changing Activity Book for Teens (Dealing with divorce): This activity book is designed to help teens cope with the changes that come with a family divorce.
The Divorce Center: Books for Teens: This resource provides a list of books that teens can read to help them through their family divorce.
Rosen Law Firm: A Teen Guide to Divorce: Rosen Law Firm provides a guide for teens who are going through or have gone through a family divorce. It includes tips and resources from attorneys.
What to Do When Your Parents Get Divorced: A Guide for Teens: Tips from a lawyer on how teens can navigate divorce.
School and Learning Related Resources
Learn to Be: Free, one-on-one tutoring for eligible kids from underserved communities.
Help My Child with Academics: The US Department of Education offers this resource for parents to learn about multiple areas of improving academics in children.
Khan Academy: A library of over 4,000 free educational videos.
Learning Disabilities Association of America: This website provides information and resources on learning disabilities for parents, educators, and children.
Motivating Kids to Practice, Sylvan Learning: Designed to instruct parents on how to effectively motivate their children to study.
National Geographic at Home: A free resource for kids from National Geographic.
Oxford University Press’ Guide for Teenage Learners: This guide is for high school students who are struggling in school and provides strategies for improvement.
Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities: This website provides an overview of different types of learning disabilities and how to help kids with those disabilities.
Recognizing Learning Disabilities in Teens: This article provides information for parents on how to identify and help teens with learning disabilities.
Everyday Study Skills, Scholastic: Guide for fostering healthy studying and establishing proper study habits at school and in the home.
Resources for Finding a Therapist
How to Find a Therapist for Your Teen: This webpage provides tips for finding a therapist for your teen, including how to find free or low-cost therapy.
4 Ways Teens Can Access Therapy Without Health Insurance: This article discusses different ways that teens can access therapy without health insurance.
SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Services Locator: A searchable directory of mental health and addiction treatment facilities in the US.
APA Practice Organization Psychologist Locator: A searchable directory of psychologists in the US.
The National Association of Free Clinics: A directory of free and low-cost clinics in the US.
Mental Health Match: A directory of mental health professionals in the US and Canada.
Teen Counseling: A directory of teen counselors in the US.
How to Find a Therapist for Your Teen: A article guide from Psychology Today.
TalkSpace: Online Counseling for Teens: TalkSpace is an online counseling service for teens that offers video chat and text messaging therapy.
Mental Health Hotlines and Call Centers
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) ‘s National Mental Health Helpline: SAMHSA operates a national helpline for mental health that provides crisis counseling and referrals 24/7.
Crisis Textline: Text HOME to 741741.
Call 211: The 211 helpline provides information and referrals for community resources, including mental health services.
List of International Suicide Hotlines: This is a list of international suicide hotlines.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Emergency Mental Health Hotline: 1-800-950-6264
Teen Line: Teen Line is a helpline for teens that offers listening and crisis counseling.