You are not alone

Sometimes it’s easy to look at classmates, strangers, and influencers and think everyone else has it figured out. But we all have challenges to overcome.

What Causes Stress?

When you have lots of responsibilities that you are struggling to manage.
Home life, if your family is going through a difficult time.
You or someone you know are experiencing discrimination.
Natural disasters or events like the coronavirus pandemic.
  • School demands and frustrations
  • Problems with friends, peers, or romantic partners
  • Unsafe living environment
  • Separation or divorce of parents
  • Feeling unhappy with our bodies
  • Chronic illness 
  • Severe family problems 
  • Death of a loved one
  • Moving or changing schools
  • Taking on too many activities or having too high expectations
  • Family financial hardship

Are any of these factors having a drain on your mental health?

Let's Talk About It

Ways to manage your mental health.


ways to deal with stress
Sleep is essential for physical and emotional well-being. You should aim to get 8 to 10 hours a night.
Physical activity can do wonders for your sense of well-being. You don’t have to run a marathon to see results. Anything that gets you up and moving works.
Talk it out:
Talking about stressful situations with a trusted adult can help you put things in perspective.
Make time for fun:
Find time to do the things that bring you joy.
Get outside:
Spending time in nature can relieve stress and improve your overall well-being. Nature doesn't mean far away; walking on the beach or strolling through Franceschi Park totally counts as spending time in nature.
Write about it:
Research has found that expressing yourself in writing can help reduce mental distress. Bonus points for writing about positive feelings, like the things you're grateful for


ways to deal with stress
Drinking too much:
While alcohol may relieve stress momentarily, consistent overindulgence can lead to negative health consequences.
Taking drugs:
Drugs do not solve the problem or improve your body’s stress response. Severe health or legal consequences can occur from taking drugs.
Smoking or vaping:
On one hand, smoking can create a short-term calming effect. On the other, using tobacco increases stress levels in the body, harms the respiratory system, and contributes to serious illnesses.
Comfort eating and overeating can lead to guilt and shame, weight gain, and obesity-related illnesses.
Withdrawing from loved ones:
Isolation negatively affects mood and outlook. Spending time with supportive friends and family is important.
Taking stress out on others:
Lashing out at others negatively impacts relationships.
Screen time:
Spending too much time doom scrolling or comparing yourself to folks you see on social media can increase stress levels.

Risk factors for youth high-risk substance use

Over 20 million Americans (aged 12 and older) have a substance misuse problem. Trigger factors can include:
  • Family history of substance use
  • Favorable family attitudes toward the behavior 
  • Poor parenting 
  • Parental substance use 
  • Family rejection of sexual orientation or gender identity 
  • Association with delinquent or substance-using peers 
  • Lack of school connectedness 
  • Low academic achievement 
  • Childhood sexual abuse 
  • Mental health issues 

What can you do?

Know the signs of

substance abuse

Teens struggling with mental health disorders will often turn to alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms. Some of the signs and symptoms to look for when identifying substance misuse include:
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities (video games, skateboarding, art, etc.)
  • Hanging out with different friends or purposely avoiding old friends 
  • Spending a lot of time alone 
  • Missing curfew or disregarding house rules
  • Bad grades or poor attendance in school 
  • Squinty eyes, dilated or pinpointed pupils, red eyes 
  • An overwhelming smell of perfume, cologne, mouthwash, etc., masking another smell
  • Finding drug paraphernalia in their room or car 
  • Disinterest in taking care of their appearance or hygiene 
Capacity for knowledge, insight, confidence
Highs and lows of emotions, feelings
Connection and community
Roles at work, career goals
All that contributes to how our body feels/functions
Belief system not necessarily formal religion
Interests, joy, fulfillment