Adolescent mental health is an often overlooked, but essential part of children's overall health and wellbeing. Mental health strongly impacts a person’s physical health and their ability to succeed in the school, home, work, and community environment. Adolescence is formative time for physical, emotional, and social growth and change. Promoting psychological well-being, protecting adolescents from adverse experiences, and acknowledging risk factors through mental health support can best prepare adolescents for a successful adulthood. All children and youth have the right to effective care for a happy and fulfilled future.
On these websites providers, parents, and teens can find more information about mental health, including:
My Life is Worth Living is the first animated series about teen mental health produced by Cook Center for Human Connection and Wonder Media. The series tells stories of characters who face some of the most difficult issues that young people deal with today. It shows their evolution in the key decision: that life is worth living.
Click here to view the rest of the series.
Occupational therapists (OTs) support people across the lifespan to participate in everyday activities, or daily occupations. They can help develop, recover, maintain, and improve daily activities through client-centered assessment and intervention.
OT’s can support children and teens who are experiencing challenges with mental health, including those who have a diagnosis of depression, anxiety, and others. Such supports are geared at improving and enhancing healthy participation in developmental and daily activities including play and leisure activities, social experiences, self-care, school, family life, work, and community participation. Therapeutic interventions may include activities to target sensory systems, social-emotional learning, self-esteem, self-advocacy, the development of health routines, stress management, coping skills, and mindfulness strategies. Additionally, occupational therapists can help facilitate collaboration with the child, caregivers, teachers, therapists, counselors and others to support continued success.
At Valley Medical Center OT’s work with children and teens in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Referrals for OT intervention can be made by your child’s primary care provider. You can also call 425-690-3513 to talk to one of our scheduling team members or to a member of the occupational therapy team for more information.
Here is an article about emotional regulation written by Loren Burnett OTR/L, and how we can support children and their ability to regulate and cope with emotion. For more information click here.
How to Help a Friend: Read about signs to look out for and what you can do if you have a friend who you think is experiencing challenges with their mental health.
Wild Grief: Wild Grief merges peer support with the healing power of nature. By offering free, outdoor experiences for teens, young adults, families, and all-ages groups, we help more people find a place where they can remember, process, and discover a path to healing.