10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

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When teens are unhappy and can’t find a healthy outlet for their frustration or a trusted confidant, they may turn to chemicals for solace. The often rough teenage years can take an emotional toll on children, sometimes even causing depression, so when teens are given a chance to take something to make them feel better, many can’t resist.

For example, some teens abuse prescription medicine to manage stress or regulate their lives. Sometimes they abuse prescription stimulants (used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to provide additional energy and the ability to focus when they’re studying or taking tests. Others are abusing prescription pain relievers and tranquilizers to cope with academic, social or emotional stress.*

We are sharing 10 Ways to Improve Your--and your teen's--Mental Health on our social media accounts. Please follow along with us on facebookinstagramor twitter.**

*Source: Partnership for Drug-free Kids
**Source: Prevention Action AllianceProject Aware Ohio

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1. Value Yourself

Treating yourself with kindness and respect is paramount. Do you talk to yourself the way you would a friend? If not, you should. Practice self-compassion, not self-sabotage. How? By practicing kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.

For ideas an inspiration read this article:

Treat yourself as you’d treat a good friend.

10 Ways Parents Can Prevent Addiction

From the moment our children are born, keeping them safe is second nature: we hold them close as they get their first shots, teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, and help them develop healthy habits that will nurture them throughout their lives.

We hear very little, though, during the critical early years about how to protect our kids from the disease of addiction. When we hear the word “addiction” we tend to think of our adult friends, relatives, or neighbors who are struggling with substance use, but the reality is that addiction is a disease that begins in childhood.

90% of Americans with a substance use disorder began using substances before the age of 18.

Just as we build protection against other medical conditions well before the symptoms are likely to appear, it is essential that we begin strengthening our kids’ protective factors against the disease of addiction prior to the teen years, and well in advance of their ever being in a situation where they could be offered that first drink of alcohol or first puff of marijuana.

There are some risk factors for addiction that we cannot change– genetics, for example–but there are other critical ones– like delaying the age of first use and limiting access to substances– that we can impact. 

This toolkit translates the science of prevention into simple strategies parents and caregivers can incorporate into busy daily lives, to do what we can to protect our kids from developing an addiction later in life.

10 Ways Parents Can Prevent Addiction in Their Children

Discussing Alcohol With Your Child

Our teens report that 86% of their parents regularly discuss working harder in school, but only 53% have discussed drugs or alcohol with them.

Did you know that parents who talk regularly with their children about the risks of alcohol decrease the likelihood that they’ll use by 50%.

Here is a one-pager to help you get the conversation started with your child on alcohol.

Tips for parents on discussing alcohol with their children.

Tips for parents on discussing alcohol with their children.

To learn more about alcohol abuse prevention, click here.