The Mental Well-Being of At-Risk Teens

In recent years there has been an uptick in mental health issues in teens and young adults. The National Institute of Health reported that one in five adolescents “aged 12-17 in the US had at least one major depressive episode.” It is necessary to equip youth with the tools necessary to navigate life’s challenges. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Encouraging Communication: Create an environment where teens feel safe discussing their thoughts and feelings without judgement.
  2. Building Resilience: Teach coping skills like stress management.
  3. Teach Importance of Good Nutrition and Exercise: A healthy diet and adequate sleep and exercise are crucial to mental well-being.
  4. Setting Achievable Goals: Learn about staying in school, job opportunities available for them and how to handle money.
  5. Create a Positive Environment that is Safe: Address forms of violence and improve one’s self-worth.

Start improving the well-being of the youth you work with by downloading this activity: 30 Days and 30 Ways To Get More Enjoyment Out of Your Life.

ARISE Poster #357: 30 Days and 30 Ways Calendar Poster

You can use this: Download Instructions: How to Create a Lesson using the 30 Day Calendar.

Questions to ask the youth to encourage conversation that may help improve their mental well-being:

  1. What activities can you engage in that will promote relaxation and self- comfort?
  2. What routines can you establish that will develop healthy habits (exercise, better breakfast, lunch, dinner, go to sleep earlier)?
  3. What can you do to manage stress (breathe, journal writing, listen to music)?
  4. How can you limit screen time?
  5. What are some healthy ways you can express emotions? (talking to a friend or trusted adult., writing in a journal, engage in creative activities like art and music)?
  6. Who do you think you can reach out for support if you feel overwhelmed, anxious, sad (counselor in school, therapist, trusted adult)?

  7. What are some things in your life that you are grateful for?

If you work with teens and want to improve their mental well being ARISE offers a package of life skills material to improve the mental and physical health of at-risk teens.