Prevention Plus: Summer mental health
The summer months can be a time for teens to relax, have fun, pursue interests, learn new skills, earn money, and enjoy more time with family and friends. The less-structured summer schedule can also sometimes be a challenge for teens struggling with depression, anxiety, or substance use issues. RHS Teen Talk counselor Ashley Adamson has some suggestions for staying mentally well in the summer months:
- Engage in activities that make you feel active, productive, and connected.
- Practice your coping skills when you have more free time, so they can be more accessible and automatic when the chaos of the school year starts up again.
- Crisis: Kids in Crisis provides 24-hour, 7 days a week crisis support that can be accessed anytime by calling: 203-661-1911. Emergency mobile psychiatric services can also be accessed by calling 211.
- Is there an app for that? Yes!! I love the idea of having these skills available in your pocket for times when you need a little support. A lot of these are free, and are user- friendly. They are wonderful to practice when you are calm as well as when you are activated. Some of my favorites include: headspace, smiling mind, pacifica, self-help for anxiety, calm app, happify, insight timer and aura.
- Talk to your adult support people (parents, relatives, counselor, etc.) and let them know if and when you need help.