About Mental Health

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health something we all have. Like physical health, your mental health can be good or poor and can also change over time Anyone can be affected by their mental health. Mental health can affect how we think, feel, and act.

Taking care of your mental health helps you have positive relationships with others, handle ups and downs in life, and more. Taking care of your mental health doesn’t just mean being happy all the time. Everyone experiences many emotions and knows what it’s like to be sad, angry, afraid, or upset. However, sometimes mental health conditions can lead to serious struggles with emotions, which can be hard for both children and adults to take care of on their own.

Mental health conditions can affect your thoughts, body, feelings, and behavior. There is a wide range of mental health conditions including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and more.

Are Mental Health Conditions Common?

Yes, mental health conditions are very common. Around 1 in 5 teenagers have a mental health diagnosis.Many mental health conditions begin before adulthood with half of all cases of mental health conditions beginning by age 14, and three-fourths beginning before age 24. Up to 80 percent of youth in foster care have at least one mental health diagnosis.

Learning that you have a mental health and/or substance abuse condition and need help can be painful or scary. You are not alone. Your caregiver, case manager, and the mental health or substance abuse counselor must work together with you to decide what care and treatment is best for you.

If you have not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, but are struggling with your emotions, feeling down, or having trouble getting through each day, please talk to someone about seeking help.

What are some signs I am struggling with my mental health?

  • Unexplained fears or worries
  • Trouble focusing in school or at work
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Feeling angry, stressed out, or anxious
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling life is too hard to handle
  • Having thoughts of suicide, wanting to die, or wanting to harm yourself or others
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy
A picture of an adorable blue cartoon pit bull named Scrappy.

SCRAPPY TIP: If you are having mental health concerns, tell a trusted adult who can help.

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