Suggested Talking Points
The overarching message to children and youth is that our mental health is as important as our physical health and that mental health problems can be successfully treated. Recognizing the signs of symptoms and asking for help are critical.
- Mental health exists on a continuum that spans from mental wellness to mental illness. We can all support our own mental wellness by maintain a positive group of friends, seeking support when you need it, nurturing a talent or skill, hobbies and interests, and identify and work towards a goal.
- Anyone regardless of age, culture, race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, or location can be affected by a mental health problem.
- Many people experience stress, or temporary feelings of depression or anxiety as a result of everyday life experiences (e.g. stressful time at work or school, being bullied, the end of a romantic relationship, family conflicts). We can often cope with these feelings by connecting with friends, talking to a parent or trusted adult, doing things we enjoy, and getting exercise, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
- When conditions are more severe and long-lasting, they are referred to as mental illness and include depression, anxiety, and other disorders which may require treatment and support. Many people with a mental illness who get the help they need live happy and productive lives. It is important that we ask for help when we need it.
- Struggling with mental illness does not mean you are weak. In fact asking for helping when you or someone you care about is struggling is really a sign of strength.
- Left untreated, serious depression can lead to suicidal feelings and thoughts. Both can be prevented which is why it is so important to know the signs of depression in yourself and others and get help.
- Due to lack of understanding and stigma surrounding mental illness, many people do not ask for help when they need it.
- Mental illness is very common in our society and counseling or therapy can be helpful treatments.
- You each have specific strengths that can help you cope with daily struggles.
- Abusing drugs or alcohol is often a symptom of a mental health problem and can also make the problem worse. Never self-medicate.
- Here at school, there are a number of adults who can help with a mental health problem. These include NAMES OF SPECIFIC STAFF MEMBERS). They are here for you.
- If you are struggling or are concerned about a friend, here is where you get help (SPECIFC STEPS AND CONTACT INFORMATION)