Teen Mental Health & Wellness

For Middle and High School Students

Welcome to the SMCPS Teen Hub for Mental Health and Wellness Resources!!  

We add new content monthly, so keep coming back to see new things! Scroll down or click on the  "Home" button in the upper right corner for more specific information

Mental Health & Wellness Monthly Newsletters - Past Editions

Webinars for Teens

Where Do I Fit In? Creating Spaces Where Youth Feel Connected 

9/20 3 P.M. ET 

Feeling like you don’t fit in, aren’t like others, have different interests, or just haven’t found a space you feel comfortable in can be extremely challenging and have an impact on their mental health. The discussion of this panel-style webinar will be led by young leaders, who will share their experiences in finding a sense of belonging and how to create intentional and inclusive spaces for youth to feel connected and seen. 

Registration Link: https://mhanational.org/events/where-do-i-fit 

THE FIRST ANIMATED SERIES ON TEEN MENTAL HEALTH 

Click below to link/watch:

Watch in English

Watch in Spanish

Watch in Portuguese

Watch in Mandarin

Watch in Japanese

What is MENTAL HEALTH anyway?

It is our emotional and psychological well-being. It is how we understand and manage our emotions. Take a look around and explore below to learn a little more.

Mental Health vs Mental Illness

They are not the same!

Mental Health is a part of a person's overall health. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being and it helps determine how we make choices, relate with other people, and handle stresses in our everyday life. People who have "good" or "positive" mental health do not always feel happy nor do they never feel lonely. These are normal emotions. A person with "good" mental health just has the tools to cope with adversity, stress, and situations. 

Mental Illnesses are conditions that impact a person's mood, behavior, or thinking. These medical conditions can interfere with a person's daily functioning and cause difficulty in everyday life.  These conditions can be short -erm, chronic or even come in episodes with clear starting and ending points. Mental Illness is not caused by a single factor or event, but they are influenced by many things like your biological factors, your life experiences, and your family history.  Just like other medical conditions, Mental Illness is NOT caused by weakness, laziness, or any other moral failing.  Just like other medical conditions, mental illness conditions are treatable and recovery is possible!


The Brain and Mental Health

What does my brain have to do with it . . .



Sometimes, we lose our cool when our emotions get out of control. Watch this video to learn about "Flipping Your Lid"

Every person has Mental Health just like every person has Physical Health. Both are important! Explore your feelings, emotions and mental health by using the Bitmoji room to the right.  


Secondary Students: Feelings Exploration

YOUR Mental Health Matters!!

1 in 4 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime. It's important that we reduce the stigma and learn that we all have mental health and that we all need to take care of our mental well-being!  Below are some helpful links and fun activities to help with your mental wellness! In addition, this entire site has numerous resources that you may find helpful for yourself, your friends, or your family.

Many people feel excited about school and life. However, many also feel overwhelmed and experience worries that just seem to not go away. Anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion that we all have. Sometimes, this worry is out of balance and we feel it to the point where it interferes with our life. It impacts our education, our relationships with friends/family, and can even contribute to medical issues due to an imbalance of stress hormones. Take some time to hear about recognizing stress, anxiety, and worry  and then learn some strategies to manage them below. 

Stress & Anxiety

What is Stress? What is Anxiety exactly? What's the difference?  I thought they were the same thing?!?! 

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. It might cause you to sweat, feel restless and tense, and have a rapid heartbeat. It can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, you might feel anxious when faced with a difficult problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.”  Anxiety may look like/feel like a stomachache,  a headache, sweatiness, pounding or racing heart, feeling of difficulty breathing, nausea, trembling or shaking, etc. It's different for everyone.

Sometimes, feelings can be confusing and hard to control. This video helps explain how the body responds to stress and how anxiety develops


What do you do if you feel stressed out or anxious?   Take a look below for some easy tips and strategies!

Now that we know what anxiety is and how it develops . . . What do we DO about it! How can we cope? How do we deal with these uncomfortable feelings?

What are some things you can do to manage your anxiety?? Try some of the things below:

Breathing exercises. Physical symptoms of anxiety include rapid, shallow breathing and hyperventilation


Going for a walk or doing light exercise. This can help to distract the mind and manage the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress.


Writing down worries.


Meditation and mindfulness.

Grounding


Fidgets, Drawing


coping-skills-anxiety.pdf


Try using the skills in the worksheet to the left!  Does it help? 


What is Mindfulness??

Check out this video to learn more. 

You can also click 

HERE or HERE 

to learn more!


When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try mindfulness to bring your focus back to the present moment.  Some examples of mindfulness include meditation, deep breathing, body scan, coloring activities, and grounding techniques. 

Another very common emotion that you may be feeling is sadness. Sadness is a natural emotion that we all feel sometimes. When sadness sticks around and becomes chronic, it may turn into something called Depression.  Let's explore what Depression looks like and what to do about it if you or someone you know has it. 

Depression Awareness and Support are vital.  What is Depression? Take a look at this flyer and video for more information.

What is Depression.pdf

So, what can you do to help with sadness and depression?  Take a look at the videos below and see if these tips help.


If you or your friend need help, tell a trusted friend or adult and tell them you need help. Talk to a School Counselor, School Psychologist, or School Social Worker.  If you need crisis support there are some additional resources below: 

Kevin Hines and the Art of Wellness Video Series

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Month, Mid Shore Behavioral Health, Inc., Channel Marker, and Anne Arundel County's Department of Health released the "Kevin Hines: The Art of Wellness" video series. This series features Kevin Hines sharing the story of his long -term struggle with mental health.  Part 2 of this video series focuses on Youth and Adolescents.  To watch this video series click here. They also list a series of resources, notes, and links. You can access these by clicking here.

Sometimes, depression can feel overwhelming and people can feel like harming themselves. Feeling suicidal is a medical concern that can be helped.  Feeling suicidal needs immediate intervention and support by someone trained to help you. 

If you or someone you know may be suicidal, reach out to your School Counselor, School Psychologist, or School Social Worker during school hours. If you need help after school hours tell an adult, call the suicide hotline at 988, or Text HOME to 741741.  There IS someone here to HELP!

If there is an emergency, call 911.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness 


Be in the Know . . .

Data from CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey and the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey indicate that: Nearly 1 in 11 female and approximately 1 in 14 male high school students report having experienced physical dating violence in the last year. In addition, 26% of women and 15% of men who were victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime first experienced these or other forms of violence by that partner before age 18.

What is Teen Dating Violence? It's a pattern of controlling behavior exhibited toward one teen by another in a dating relationship. 


For more information on Teen Dating Violence, click on the 3 lines at the top of the screen. Scroll down to  "Teen Dating Violence and Domestic Violence"

Where Do I go if I need Help?  Talk to a trusted adult! Talk to a Parent/Guardian! Talk to a School Counselor, Social Worker or Psych or Psychologist! 

If in immediate danger, Call 911

Click the Links Below for additional help:

You are not ALONE!!  

When people experience emotions that are uncomfortable or difficult, it is important to use coping skills to help manage these strong emotions. Be cautious though . . . sometimes, coping skills can be unhealthy! Explore a little bit of this below:


Healthy vs. Unhealthy Coping Skills

When worry becomes too much or when we feel stressed or out of control, we use coping skills to feel better. Sometimes, these coping skills are unhealthy.  Take a look at this "BE YOUR BEST YOU" video for what one unhealthy coping strategy looks like.  Can you name other unhealthy coping skills?

Do you VAPE?  Have people told you that you vape too much? Or, maybe you are just curious about what the science says.  Our local Health Department has many informational resources about vaping.  Find it HERE 


Now that we understand unhealthy coping skills, take a look below for some healthier alternatives. 

Breathing Techniques to Reduce Stress & Calm the Brain

Calming Room


Calming Strategy - Take a Break


Use this room to find what helps you relax!


Many people are dealing with mental health and wellness issues. There are many more areas of mental health to explore. We have developed a Mental Health Media Room if you would like to learn more about different mental health conditions that people can have. The videos are short and you may find the information helpful for you, your family, your friends, etc.  Take a peek when you feel like learning!

Teen Mental Health Media Room

SMCPS School Health Council has put together a few resource links for students. Topics include - Suicide, Depression,  Anxiety, Grief & Loss, ADHD, Autism, Bullying,  and Substance Use. Click the link below or the picture to the left to access these resources.


SMCPS has also connected with Rosen Digital to provide students with up-to-date access to a website called Teen Health & Wellness: Real  Life, Real Answers. This site offers numerous resources on various mental health & wellness topics that impact teens. Check out this incredible resource HERE!!!!

Sometimes, we realize that we or someone we know may need more support and resources to manage their struggles. Below are helpful tools to know when someone may need more help and you will also see some great things you can do to help support mental health concerns.

Take a look at this video for some common signs that indicate you may need to talk to someone to help you through difficulties. There is hope!

If you think you need help in managing your emotions, please reach out to your School Counselor, School Psychologist, or School Social Worker.   There are also numerous community-based supports available too. Check them out below:

National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention 

This issue impacts everyone, not just teens. Parents, students, staff,  and communities are all impacted.  Together, we can raise awareness and provide support to our students and encourage healthy relationships. Check out the resources below for more information.

Teen Dating & Domestic Violence Awareness

Click Here For More Information

If you need help, please contact your School Counselor, School Psychologist, School Social Worker, or any adult you trust! You can also contact the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline. 

Click here for SMCPS SafeSchools Alert Tip Reporting System. This system allows you to quickly, easily, and anonymously report safety concerns to school officials 24/7/365. Help us create a safer learning environment - to submit a tip, please choose a button to the right. 

Call 911 in case of an emergency!