For kids and teens

Follow Ohana Montage Health’s tips for good mental health and talk to a parent or trusted adult if you’re having a hard time coping with problems in everyday life.

Why is mental health important?

Your emotional and psychological health affects how you:

  • Handle stress
  • Interact with your friends, family, teachers, and others
  • Think, act, and make choices

Developing good mental health is a lifelong process. It’s normal for young people to have challenges at home and school and feel bad sometimes. Finding healthy ways to cope and asking for help can make it easier to reach your goals and live your best life.

How to improve your mental health

Take steps to keep your mind and body healthy. Try to:

  • Acknowledge negative thoughts, but focus on the positive, your strengths, and what you’re grateful for
  • Be active every day. Choose activities you enjoy
  • Build strong connections with friends and family members. Share how you’re feeling, set boundaries, and do fun things together
  • Don’t use drugs and alcohol, which can cause anxiety and depression to get worse and may cause lasting damage to your brain
  • Eat healthy, nutritious foods
  • Express your emotions through art, journaling, music, or other activities
  • Find time to relax and healthy ways to manage stress. You may enjoy breathing exercises, listening to music, watching a funny video, or spending time with a pet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Give back. Help people you know or volunteer
  • Learn new hobbies
  • Spend time outside

Signs of a problem

Get help if you or your friends are struggling. Reach out to your parents, a school counselor, your doctor, or another trusted adult if you:

  • Are struggling with life changes
  • Experience severe stress
  • Experienced a traumatic event, such as the death of a friend or loved one, physical or sexual abuse, or violence
  • Feel depressed, hopeless, guilty, or sad
  • Feel overwhelmed by school
  • Feel very angry often, want to hurt yourself or others, or destroy property
  • Have anxiety that affects your daily life, feels out of control, or causes panic attacks
  • Have sleeping changes, such as having trouble sleeping or wanting to sleep all the time
  • Have severe mood swings
  • Hear or see things that aren’t there
  • Lose interest in hobbies or relationships you usually enjoy
  • Restrict the amount you eat, exercise obsessively, or binge-eat
  • Use drugs or alcohol to numb your feelings

You aren’t alone, and you deserve support to feel your best. There are many options available to help address your symptoms.

Getting care from Ohana

You’ll be the focus of friendly, caring professionals who specialize in the mental health of young people. We’re familiar with common challenges and can suggest ways to help. As our patient, you may benefit from:

  • Counseling in a one-on-one, family, or group setting
  • Education about your condition and healthy lifestyle choices
  • Emotional support to face challenges
  • Help to identify your strengths and coping skills and find tools that will work for you
  • Medication or other therapies to manage symptoms
  • Referrals to local resources
  • Supportive services in your school
  • Using an app or other technology to track your symptoms or improve your well-being
  • Various programs, including inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, crisis intervention, life skills coaching, peer mentorship, art and pet therapy, and more

Contact Ohana

Call (831) OHANA01 (831-642-6201) or email us at ohana@montagehealth.org. Expect us to answer you within one business day.

24/7 crisis intervention

If you or someone you care about has suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis:

  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or chat with a counselor online
  • Call (831) 687-4379 to reach the Monterey County Mobile Response Team (MRT), which provides phone counseling in English and Spanish for youth up to age 21
  • Call 911 or go to the Emergency department

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