It’s Mental Health Awareness Month – AND Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month AND Jewish American Month AND Teacher Appreciation Week. They all start today! We can’t cover all of these this week, but we do encourage everyone in looking for and celebrating their true identity and the joy of loving relationships.
Normalize ‘speaking about emotions and seeking help’ with a story that models emotional intelligence and self-awareness for readers of all ages: Looking for Happy (Beaming) follows a young boy struggling through a dreary day that even his grandmother’s remedy can’t cure – until he discovers happiness when he isn’t looking for it.
Spread kindness – and maybe some smiles – with the intergenerational DIY projects found in The Postcard Project (Beaming), which includes a downloadable free Postcard Project guide to help kids make their own unique postcard to send to a loved one.
Happiness can be even harder to find for youth struggling with anxiety.
For a quick overview, please read A Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teens with Anxiety (by Rev. Monica Harbarger, MA, NCC, LPC-S; from Center for Youth Ministry Training).
Become better equipped as a mental health responder through Yale Divinity School’s trainings, including:
- Tending to the Mental Health of Adolescents
- Cultivating Resilience, Well-Being and Authentic Happiness in Youth
- Sabbath Rest
- Offering Effective Pastoral Care
- Accompanying LGBTQ+ Youth
Find additional trainings and tips in our Mental Health & Addictions lib guide.
PC(USA) Store compiled a list of resources for working with children and adults in need of mental health support.
They also published this list – something to keep handy at all times:
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness
- The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM CT.
- Call 800.950.NAMI (6264)
- Text ‘HelpLine’ to 62640
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- In an emergency, dial 911. Ask the operator for police officers trained in crisis intervention or trained to assist people experiencing a psychiatric emergency.
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline
- Available 24/7
- Free and confidential emotional support
- Dial or text 988
- Crisis Text Line
- Text HOME to 741-741
- Connect with a trained crisis counselor
- Receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text
Trans youth are especially vulnerable to mental health challenges (see here and here). Inspire, empower, and affirm a sense of belovedness and belonging as trans youth discover their Authentic Selves: Celebrating Trans and Nonbinary People and Their Families (Skinner) – a joy-filled depiction of community that celebrates trans and nonbinary people and their families through photographs and their own words.
Key elements to mental well-being are self-expression and a trusted friend with whom to share it. Antonio’s Impossible Dream (Beaming) brings the two together in a ‘dreamlike fable about the power of friendship and imagination’.