Teen Challenge – Improving Mental Health by talking about it

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!

Did you get a chance to touch base with that teen or young adult in your life last week? Be sure to check in with them. Ask them what they are thinking about or if anything may be bothering them. And be ready to listen.

May’s Theme – Mental Health Awareness Month

Since 1949, Mental Health America and affiliates have observed May as being Mental Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.

There are many messages popping up on social media with resources to help. The CDC currently has a public Service Announcement which pops up when you search for mental health awareness on Google.

Be Kind to Your Mind:
Tips to cope with stress

PAUSE – Breathe and notice how you feel

TAKE BREAKS – from internet content

MAKE TIME – to sleep and exercise

REACH OUT – and stay connected

SEEK HELP – If overwhelmed or unsafe

This month I am going to focus on bringing more awareness to mental health. Check out my mentor page and see how I am doing it Selma P. Verde – Mentor Page

Who can I talk to about how I feel?

This month’s theme is mental health awareness. It is a time when we should become aware of how our teen is feeling and talk about it. It may be normal anxiety, or it may be something more serious.

Sometimes it is hard for teens, or ourselves for that matter, to talk to family and friends about how we feel. There are many people you or your teen can talk to and bounce thoughts off of.

Teens, it can be helpful to reach out to another person who may have been in your situation before or know something about the situation that you are in. They may know your parents or be familiar with the friends you go to school with. You may be worried those people may share your feelings with someone involved in the situation and not feel comfortable to talk to them.

Or another option is reaching out to someone who may not know anything about your or the situation and can give you a fresh perspective. These people may be a little more objective or have more expertise in the area you are confused about and can talk you through what is bothering you. But you don’t know them and may be scared to talk to a stranger.

Reaching out it never easy, but there are three options I would like to talk about this week. They are counselors, psychologists or a crisis hotline.


Counselors are people trained to give guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems. These people may be people you know or maybe not. There are many different types of counselors.

A school guidance counselor is there to help guide you to the place you are trying to get to in furthering your education or pursuing an interest. Your school guidance counselor, for example, may help you to choose the courses that you need to take to get into the college or trade you want to pursue. A camp counselor may be a good person to talk to about the activity you are pursuing at camp about how to get to the next level. You can also approach either of these options with something that is bothering you and they can refer you to someone to help you if they are unable to.

There are also counselors outside of school that can help you with other problems like anger management or drug and alcohol addiction. These types of counselors are ones you may not know but can give you some advice if you are struggling with a specific area.


Psychologists are trained to assess and treat abnormalities and bigger mental health related issues. Things like emotional trauma caused by being picked on at school, or how your parents having problems is affecting you, or any type of abuse you have been facing are all issues psychologists can talk with you about. These types of people can see a bigger and more objective picture and are trained to help you work through these emotions and prescribe medication or additional therapy if needed.

Crisis Hotlines

You may not feel that what you are going through is at a crisis level. There are hotlines out there that have the phones answered by people who want to listen to you. They can help you sort out your problem and refer you to additional resources of people who can help you.

The Boys Town Hotline is one I have talked about in prior posts. They have a person available 24/7 365 days a year to be a non-judgmental voice who wants to help you. The Boys Town Hotline number is 800-448-3000. They talk to either teens or parents who are struggling and help them find answers.

But if you or someone you know is in crisis, make sure to reach out to someone and talk about it.

Every one of the options listed above wants to help you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to ask a question or ask for help. You don’t have to struggle with what is bothering you alone. Your Mental Health Matters.

Shawn’s Way is about being a target of a bully

Shawn’s Way is the second book in The Way Series. It is the story of Shawn Townson and his navigating through being a target of a bully, who happens to play baseball with his older brother Caleb. Pick up a copy and find out how he reaches out to a teen hotline to talk to someone about what he is going through. Click on the link below the photo to get your own copy.

Selma P. Verde – Books

Have a great week!

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