Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Whether young or old, we all have at least one thing in common: a mind we need to take care of. It can be hard to reach out for help during hard times. There are many reasons people will avoid taking care of their mental health when needed, from being embarrassed to admit they’re struggling with something to being unable to afford healthcare.

Even if you’re not necessarily having a hard time, it’s good to make sure your mind is clear so that you can live your best life. Establishing a good mental health practice and being proactive about seeking care can help when things do go wrong. Everybody is unique, and each person might find different ways that work better for them than others.

DREAM’s mentoring programs give at-risk youth someone to look up to. DREAM provides someone who can be there for them when they need advice. In no way are our mentors healthcare professionals, but sometimes talking to a mentor can help in the same way talking to a therapist can. Therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are the only ones licensed to prescribe medication and help. We just wanted to help answer some questions regarding mental health, and give you some ways to take care of yourself.

What is mental health?

Mental health is our emotional, psychological and social well-being. The state of our mental health can dictate how we react to certain situations and impact the decisions we choose to make. At-risk youth may be more susceptible to mental health problems due to their social vulnerability, discrimination factors and the stigmas surrounding them. The good thing is that we can help these adolescents overcome all of these things to reach their full potential.

Many underprivileged kids are at a higher risk of experimenting with drugs, joining gangs and falling into other negative behaviors that can jeopardize their future. This is especially true when they’re going through a difficult time and cannot access sufficient resources. A safe and nurturing environment after school and joining a team mentoring program can help.

Why is it important to take care of mental health issues when they arise?

You should never be ashamed of your mental health. The more we talk about it, the more commonplace it becomes and the more we realize others are in the same boat as us. Over 60% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. We should also note that more than 2.5 million youth in the U.S. have severe depression, and multiracial youth are at the greatest risk.

We are resilient, and we build more resilience when we overcome struggles in our lives. Mental health is often considered a hidden disability. You cannot see mental health like you can see a broken bone, but it’s just as important to take care of. We want to give the youth in our community a place to turn when they need support, and we want to be sure we suggest a higher level of help if needed. There is no perfect photo of good mental health, but we know that a feeling of purpose, high self-esteem and a sense of belonging help assist our happiness and contribute to positive mental health overall.

How can we help at-risk youth with their mental health?

Our after-school and team mentoring programs help youth find their purpose in life, think highly of themselves and make connections with their peers so that they feel like they belong and matter. There are several ways to take care of your mental health without visiting a doctor, but know when it’s time to get professional help.

If you’re interested in making a difference in the lives of our youth, consider joining DREAM. Reach out to us with any questions, we’re more than happy to answer them.