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Youth Mental Wellness (13-18 yrs)

Funding to support BHJIS is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) through grants awarded by the California Department of Health Care Services.

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Reach Out For Coaching and/or Resources

Everybody needs help, so why is it so hard to ask for it?

Asking for help, no matter how big or small the issue might be, is often hard to do. Reaching out is not a negative thing! We’re often taught to be self-reliant and independent, and some even think asking for help is a sign of weakness. It is actually a sign of incredible strength! It takes courage to reach out and say that you’re struggling, you’re unsure about something, or you just need a shoulder to cry on.

Email or call us. We are here to help!

Email: [email protected]
Call or Text: 657-999-9868

Youth Mental Health in Orange County

  • 35% of 11th graders experienced depression related feelings in the previous year, compared to 9th graders (30%) and 7th graders (25%).
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 10-24 in Orange County.
  • Students who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual were more than twice as likely to report depression related feelings.
  • 1 in 5 teens and young adults live with a mental health condition.
  • Early 2021 emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts were almost 51% higher among adolescent girls and 4% higher among adolescent boys compared to the same time period in 2019.
  • Half of people with mental illness start experiencing symptoms by age 14.
  • In Orange County, about 4.2% of the adolescent population has experienced serious psychological distress. Of that 4.2%, over 60% did not receive psychological or emotional counseling for their mental health.
  • 18% of youth in Orange County faced multiple barriers when trying to connect to mental health care, with some of the most common challenges being lack of insurance or an ability to pay, inconvenient or delayed appointment times and uncertainty over who to call.
  • 14.7% of 9th graders and 15.4% of 11th graders in Orange County reported contemplating suicide or self-harm.
  • The youth suicide rate in Orange County increased by 11% from 2010 to 2018, the sharpest increase among the 20 most populous counties in the U.S.

Early intervention in mental health is increasingly recognized as one of the best opportunities to alter the trajectory of mental illness and to improve patient outcomes

Curriculum Overview

Youth Mental Health Safety Training collaborates with adults who work with youth how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health challenges and substance abuse. The curriculum outlines an action plan involving arrival, assessment, and advocacy. Active listening is a large part of assessment, and the training guides participants how to be an active listener and respond in a validating way. Our staff and curriculum include evidence-based trauma-informed material that focus on wellbeing and substance abuse prevention education. The topics covered include:

  • Trauma and Risk Factors for Mental Health Disorders
  • Crisis Response
  • Active Listening Skills
  • Cultural Considerations
  • Signs and Symptoms of a Mental Health Crisis
  • Mental Health Disorders in Youth
  • Wellness and Self Care Practices

The curriculum outlines an action plan (A.A.A., or Triple A Action Plan) that involves arrival, assessment, and advocacy. The curriculum guides adults through the steps and provides insight on how to handle certain situations. Each situation is different, and each student has different needs. Participants will be able to use the curriculum and tailor the action plan to each unique scenario.

  • Arrival - Arriving on scene and establishing a friendly presence immediately.
  • Assessment - Ensuring the safety of the youth and others and using active listening skills to gauge the situation.
  • Advocacy - Referring the youth to professional staff at Partners4Wellness in a positive and encouraging way.

Self Care Tips

There are things you can do in your daily life to practice self-care. These things fall into various wellness categories: social, environmental, intellectual, physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and occupational.

Social Wellness

Social wellness involves having a strong support network, feeling connected to other people, and having a sense of belonging. Feeling isolated, lonely, or disconnected from others can lead to negative physical and mental health outcomes. Some ways you can practice self-care for your social wellbeing include:

  • Having healthy boundaries with yourself and others
  • Having a strong support network of family, friends, co-workers, and peers
  • Developing positive relationships
  • Having good communication skills

Environmental Wellness

Environmental wellness refers to being in a healthy environment, in terms of both the planet’s environment and the environment you find yourself in. Your surroundings can greatly impact how you feel, positively and negatively. Some ways you can practice self-care for the environment around you include:

  • Picking up trash.
  • Biking or walking for your commute, if you are able to.
  • Using reusable bags and water bottles.
  • Donating unwanted clothing.

Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness is about learning new things and constantly expanding your knowledge. Being intellectually healthy can help you look at things in a new way, which can make an impact on your other areas of wellness. Some ways you can work on your intellectual wellbeing include:

  • Being open-minded.
  • Checking out a seminar or conference on something new to you.
  • Learning another language.
  • Reading books on new topics.

Physical Wellness

Physical wellness involves eating a balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep, maintaining a healthy level of physical activity, and avoiding unhealthy practices. It can be hard to take care of yourself physically while still maintaining a positive relationship with your body. Respecting your physical wellbeing can look like:

  • Avoiding substances that can bring long-term harm, like copious amounts of alcohol.
  • Learning to recognize warning signs when your body begins feeling ill.
  • Eating foods that make you feel good.
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule and get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness involves being able to cope effectively with difficult situations and maintain a sense of emotional regularity. Some ways to care for your emotional wellbeing include:

  • Taking time to yourself to quiet your mind and reflect.
  • Seeking or accepting help and support from others when needed.
  • Sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. Remember to listen to others’ emotions too.
  • Accepting mistakes and learning from them for next time.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness is about having a sense of purpose and meaning in life based on your personal beliefs and values. Some ways to practice self-care for your spiritual wellness include:

  • Exploring your inner self. Take time to think about who you are.
  • Practicing acceptance.
  • Being curious. If something happens that makes you even the slightest bit curious, take a moment to explore the experience a little deeper.
  • Looking for a religious faith that aligns with your values.

Financial Wellness

Financial wellness refers to being financially literate. It is not measured by your monetary worth, but rather influenced by your confidence to handle your own finances. Financial stress can be a heavy burden on people. Some ways to ensure your own financial wellness include:

  • Utilizing resources to expand your budget like CalFresh and discounts.
  • Identifying and addressing any financial problems before they start.
  • Writing a list before you go shopping.
  • Asking yourself “do I really need this?” before an unplanned purchase.

Occupational Wellness

Occupational wellness is involving yourself in work that you find fulfilling and validating. This applies to your job, volunteer work, and other activities. Some ways to build on your occupational wellness include:

  • Reflecting often – where do you find joy and meaning in your life?
  • Taking advantage of career service resources.
  • Exploring different career and/or volunteer opportunities that arise.
  • Setting realistic career goals for yourself and working towards accomplishing these goals.

Educational Resources

Partners4Wellness staff are constantly researching, reading, and reviewing material to improve our practices. We have compiled some information that we found helpful, and you might too!