Resources to Support Adolescent Mental Health
Did You Know?
The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has free mobile apps that help users prevent underage drinking, opioid use disorders, and bullying.
Resources for Teens and Young Adults
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) maintains the Behavioral Health Services Locator, an online, map-based program that visitors can use to find facilities in their vicinity.
- SAMHSA also provides a list of suicide prevention resources for teens through its Suicide Prevention Resource Center.
- Adolescents (or anyone) in suicidal crisis or emotional distress can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Calls made to this 24-hour hotline are routed to the caller’s nearest crisis center. People who may be uncomfortable speaking on the phone can text the Crisis Text Line at 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Texts are answered quickly 24/7.
- OK2Talk is a safe, moderated online community where teens and young adults can share their stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle, or hope through creative expression such as poetry or songs, inspirational quotes, videos, and messages of support. Founding partners include the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), Active Minds, and Mental Health America.
- NAMI's Find Support section for teens and young adults has information on meeting with mental health specialists, being a supportive friend, managing mental health disorders, and more.
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) offers local support groups throughout the U.S. as well as online support groups.
- College students can find support and additional resources at NAMI on Campus and Active Minds
- OAH's Adolescent Health Library provides federal resources on mental health topics.
Resources for Youth-Serving Professionals
- Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed for youth and adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
- NAMI Parents and Teachers as Allies offers a free, on-site presentation for school personnel, led by a team that includes a young adult with a mental health issue, a parent, and a teacher. The program provides information on recognizing symptoms of mental health disorders, partnering with families, and creating supportive learning environments.
- SAMHSA’s report, Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care for Children and Youth: Concepts and Strategies, addresses service delivery for youth, outlines five core competencies of integrated care systems for children with behavioral health issues, and describes financing mechanisms that support integrated care systems. For more information on comprehensive, continuous, and family-centered care, visit HRSA-SAMHSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions.
- The Integrated Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) Kit from SAMHSA explains the principles of integrated treatment while referencing programs that successfully offer mental health and substance use services in one setting.
- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers mental health resources and information at MentalHealth.gov, including guidance for educators and for community leaders.
- The Society for Adolescent Health Medicine offers a number of youth-friendly online mental health resources.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has published guidance for clinicians on screening for emotional and behavioral disorders.
- OAH has additional mental health resources for professionals that are available in the TPP and PAF Resource Center.
- SAMHSA's Suicide Prevention Resource Center provides information on the role of high school teachers in preventing suicide.
Resources for Family Members
- The National Institute of Mental Health provides many resources, including a fact sheet on diagnosis and treatment for children with mental health disorders.
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) offers local support groups and online support groups for family members and friends of people with mental health disorders.
- NAMI's Find Support section for families and caregivers has guidance on what to do during a crisis, how to best support recovery, and taking care of your own mental health. NAMI also runs support groups in communities around the country for family members.
- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services offers mental health resources and information at MentalHealth.gov, including tips on how to talk to children about mental health.
Content last reviewed on May 1, 2017