Mental Health for Families

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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For FamiliesFor Families: Healthy Minds

 

When our minds are healthy and strong, we are more resilient to life’s challenges, able to use healthy coping methods, have better relationships, maintain our overall health and well-being, and prevent chronic illnesses. That’s why it is important to be proactive about our mental health!

Families play an important role in:
  • Providing children with strong mental health support.
  • Incorporating positive mental health practices into their daily lives.
  • Helping your children if they are struggling emotionally, mentally and physically.

Family Discussion

Family Toolkit

1.

Build a Framework for Strong Mental Health Support

These resources will help guide your family in building healthy minds.


2.

Tools to Take Action: Positive Mental Health Practices

This discussion guide can help your family navigate having conversations about mental health, and the action plan gives you some tangible actions your family can take to start making building healthy minds a regular part of your lives.


3.

Get Help Now: Support Resources

School counselors, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists can connect your family to mental health services and providers in your community, and reaching out to them should be your first step.

However, there are also many national organizations that offer direct mental health support, assistance and referrals; local chapters that provide counseling, referrals, education etc.; and peer-to-peer support groups.

Community Resource Finder 

Find Mental Health Support from National Organizations


  1. Warmlines (Mental Health America): Talk to someone who can provide support during hard times. 
  2. Find a Mental Health Support Group (Mental Health America): Find support groups in your area.
  3. Behavior Health Treatment Locator (SAMHSA): Locate treatment facilities in the United States or U.S. Territories for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems.
  4. Self-Help Clearinghouse (National Mental Health Consumers): Connect to self-help and advocacy resources.
  5. Mental Health Resources for Underrepresented Communities (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention): Find national resources for suicide prevention focused on supporting individuals in minority communities, reviewed for accuracy, mental health and community context, and ease of use by AFSP. 

Find Topic-Specific Mental Health Support

Topic

Organization

Mission

Mental Health Services

Depression, anxiety, loneliness

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness

 

Provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.

Get information, resource referrals and peer support for people living with a mental health condition and their family members and caregivers— free of charge. Call 1 (800) 950-6264 or contact info@NAMI.org.

Many NAMI affiliates offer an array of free support and education programs. Find your local NAMI Alliance using the search function on their website.

Discrimination, racism, exclusion

Trevor Project

 

Suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ+ youth.

Connect with a Crisis Counselor via chat, text or phone 24/7, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the U.S, free of charge.

Discrimination, racism, exclusion

Black Mental Health Alliance

 

Develops, promotes and sponsors trusted culturally relevant educational forums, trainings and referral services that support the health and well-being of Black people.

The Connect with a Therapist function on the Black Mental Health Alliance website offers confidential referrals for those seeking mental health services.

Discrimination, racism, exclusion

Therapy for Latinx

Provides resources for the Latinx community to heal, thrive and become advocates for their own mental health.

 

Search a database of therapists who either identify as Latinx or has worked closely with and understands the unique needs of the Latinx community. The website is also offered in Spanish.

Discrimination, racism, exclusion

United Way

Improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.

Call 211, a 24/7 confidential hotline providing referralsif you or someone you know needs help locating mental health resources, talking through a problem,or exploring treatmentoptions.

 

Many local chapters provide mental health services. Find your local United Way here.

Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

Supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.

Text NEDA to 741741 to connect with a trained volunteer 24/7, free of charge.

Grief

 

Dougy Center

 

Provides support in a safe place where families who are grieving can share their experiences before and after a death.

Use the worldwide program directory to find a grief support center near you.

Substance Misuse

Narcotics Anonymous

Offers recovery from the effects of addiction.

Find a meeting helps addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle find local peer support meetings.

Substance Misuse

Alcoholics Anonymous

Helps alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Meeting Guide helps alcoholics who wish to achieve and maintain sobriety find local peer support meetings.

Substance Misuse

Al-Anon

Helps families and friends of alcoholics.

Find a support group of peers to share your experience related to the effects of a problem drinker in their lives.

Suicidal thoughts

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

 

Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis.

Connect with providers in your community that can support your needs, available 24 hours a day, free of charge.

Starting July 16, 2022, just dial 988 to be directly connected to the lifeline. In the meantime, you can dial the full phone number at 1 (800) 273-8255 for support in English or 1 (888) 628-9454 for support in Spanish.

Suicidal thoughts

Crisis Text Line

Provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention.

Text HOME to741741to connect with a Crisis Counselor.

 


This Community Resource Finder tool is supported by the CDC Foundation by way of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as part of a financial assistance award totaling $447,531 with more than 99% funded by CDC/HHS and $2,400, less than 1%, funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.


 

Topic-Specific Family Resources

 

Depending on where your family is on your mental health journey, you may be looking for different types of supports. Although everyone’s circumstances are different, there are actions all families can take to strengthen their mental health—and you can start by taking small steps!





Family Discussion Topics



Additional Mental Health Resources


Additional Resources

Additional Mental Health ResourcesMindfulness and Self-Care Resources


Suicide and Suicide Prevention


Peer-to-Peer Resources for Students


Additional Resources

 

New Mental & Emotional Health Resources

Shine Light on DepressionDepression and suicide are hiding in plain sight, affecting more and more young people. National PTA is part of a five-organization collaboration working to create real and hopeful conversations around mental health. Check out these Shine Light on Depression resources to learn more


 



Notes from the Backpack: A PTA Podcast

Notes from the Backpack features real conversations with real parents, experts and educators who offer real-life advice, ideas and strategies parents can use to help their children succeed in and out of school.

Episodes Focused on Mental Health



 

PTA Healthy Minds Videos

 

National PTA’s Healthy Minds Program

National PTA’s Healthy Minds program helps PTAs and families deepen their understanding of what mental health and social-emotional learning are, why it matters for our children and what they can do to help support their children’s mental health.

Watch the following videos with your family to learn more about how to build healthy minds. Each of these informational videos have related activities your family can do to put these concepts into practice.

National PTA's Healthy Minds Program
National PTA's Healthy Minds Program
Healthy Minds 101
Healthy Minds 101
Building Resilience
Building Resilience
Building Social and Emotional Skills at Home
Building Social and Emotional Skills at Home

Healthy Minds 101: This module explores the difference between mental health and mental illness, provides examples of ways families can prioritize mental health together, and shares information on available mental health supports and services.

Building Resilience: With this module, you will learn what resilience is and is not as well as why it is important and practice ways you can help the children in your lives build resilience.

Building Social and Emotions Skills at Home: In this module, you will learn what social and emotional skills are, why they’re important, and how you can help your family build these skills at home.

Mental Health Conversations


Check out these videos to see examples of families having conversations about mental health in their daily lives in both English and Spanish.

Conversations about Mental Health
Mental Health Conversations: In-Person Social Interactions

 

 

Mental Health Conversations: How and When Parents Can Start Open Dialogue

 

 

Conversaciones Sobre Salud Mental: Cómo y cuándo los padres pueden iniciar un diálogo abierto

 

 

Mental Health Conversations: Behavior Changes and What Parents Can Do

 

 

Mental Health Conversations: OK to Let Your Kids Know You Are Not OK

 

 

Conversaciones Sobre Salud Mental: Está bien que sus hijos sepan que usted no está bien

 

 

This project was supported by the CDC Foundation by way of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as part of a financial assistance award totaling $447,531 with more than 99% funded by CDC/HHS and $2,400, less than 1%, funded by non-government source(s). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.




 

Founding Sponsor



New York Life Foundation



Supporting Sponsor



Active Minds