Help for Youth Mental Health: A Guide for Young People

Written by: Aleksandra Eriksen Isham – PhD

Last updated date : April 27, 2022

Youth can be a turbulent time with a lot of highs and lows. During this time, young people change a lot both in their body and their mind. They also experience increased pressure to perform and to figure out who they are and what they want in life. Having to deal with all these things at once can be hard. It is therefore not too surprising that some start to struggle with their mental health during their youth. Even though mental health problems are relatively common in young people, many are reluctant to seek help. This may be because they feel ashamed or think that they should be able to sort out their problems on their own. Unfortunately, this may just make matters worse. So what can young people do when they struggle with their mental health? And what options are there for seeking help for youth mental health?

Chapter 1:

Talk to Someone

Talking to a family member, friend, or a partner can be of great help for young people who struggle with their mental health. It can help young people talk through things that are bothering them. This may help young people feel less overwhelmed by their mental health problems. Talking to someone can also help young people realize that others may be going through similar hardships as themselves. This can feel comforting and may help young people feel less alone with their problems. Family members, friends, or a partner who have gone through similar challenges may also be able to give helpful advice or may know of useful resources for young people who struggle with their mental health. Last but not least, if they know that a young person is going though a hard time, family members, friends, or a partner can offer care and support by checking in on them.


Chapter 2:

Seek Help from a Mental Health Professional

Young people who struggle with their mental health should also consider to seek help from a mental health professional. This could be their medical doctor, a psychologist, school counselor, or a youth worker. Mental health professionals are trained to help with all kinds challenges and mental health problems that youth may have. This may include difficulties at school, relationship problems, or questions about identity. It may also include more severe mental health problems, such as seeing or hearing things that aren’t there, self harm, or suicidal thoughts. Mental health professionals can help young people work through any of these problems and offer skills and techniques to improve their mental health. These skills and techniques can help young people overcome hard times in the future. It can also reduce their risk of future mental health problems.

Some young people may feel nervous about seeking professional help for their mental health. They might worry that they will seem weak if they seek help, or they may simply not know how to seek help. For these young people, it can be a good idea to ask a family member or another adult that they trust to help contact a mental health professional. The adult can help navigate the process of seeking support, and may also be able to join the first meetings with a mental health professional. For people who feel nervous about contacting a mental health professional, it is also important to know that seeking help is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, to seek help and admit that one is struggling, shows great strength and courage.


Chapter 3:

Engage in Self-Care

Sometimes, young people have to wait a while before a mental health professional is available. In these cases, there are steps that young people can take themselves to take care of their mental health. Although some of these steps may seem common sense, they can be easy to forget for someone who is having a hard time. Therefore, it is good to be reminded of them.


Chapter 4:

Stay Active, Eat Healthily, and Get Enough Sleep

One of these steps is to stay active, eat healthily, and get enough relaxation and sleep. Exercise, healthy food, and sleep have many good effects on the body and the brain. These effects can help young people feel calmer, less stressed, and more positive. They can also make it easier to tackle challenges. In addition, exercise may give young people a break from their own thoughts and troubles. It can be a good idea for young people to set off time every day or week where they are physically active. This could be anything from going to the gym, to doing yoga or going for a walk. To get enough sleep and relaxation, it can also be a good idea to have a regular sleep schedule and set off time to relax during the day. Some relaxing activities include reading, listening to music, being in nature, and meditation.


Chapter 5:

Do Activities and Spend Time with Friends

Another thing that can help youth mental health is to spend time with friends and do activities. This could be creative activities such as drawing, dancing, or playing an instrument. It could also be team sports, learning something new, or any other hobby. Sometimes when young people struggle with their mental health, they loose interest in activities that they used to enjoy. They may also feel less motivated to spend time with others. Some young people may even think that they do not deserve to do things they enjoy. Or they may feel that others do not like to be with them. Even if they feel this way, they should try to continue to do activities and spend time with friends. This is because when young people spend time with friends and take part in activities, this can boost their mood and self-esteem, and make them feel less lonely.


Chapter 6:

Use Self-Help Resources for Youth Mental Health

Finally, there are several self-help resources that offer support for young people who struggle with their mental health. This may include books or online resources that give information about mental health. It may also include self-help courses such as mindfulness programs. Resources like these can be good to help young people develop skills and strategies to handle their mental health problems. At Epsychonline we have several resources and tools that can help you improve your wellbeing and mental health. We have a series of self-help courses, including one on