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helpguide [web resource]

helpguideHelpGuide is a non-profit web resource with over 250 articles, interactive quizzes and other resources covering 31 topics. The site contains self-help tools to help readers to effectively deal with mental, emotional and social health challenges.

In collaboration with Harvard Health Publications, the consumer health publishing division of Harvard Medical School, a subset of comprehensive evidence-based articles have been adapted from Harvard Health Publications for HelpGuide’s readers.

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sad girl leaning against tree

Identifying Teen Mental Health Difficulties: A Practical Guide for Parents [downloadable]

sad girl leaning against treeThe years of adolescence can be both interesting and stressful for many teens. It is a period when youth are exploring themselves through extracurricular activities, hobbies, new friendships and social contacts, and forming their identities independently from parents.

Separating from parents is completely normal to adolescence. However, the extent to which teens separate and withdraw from parents may be of greater concern, especially if it comes along with extreme mood shifts and sudden changes in personality and behaviors. Read more »

Warning Signs of a Mental Health Condition

Trying to tell the difference between what expected behaviors are and what might be the signs of a mental illness isn’t always easy. There’s no easy test that can let someone know if there is mental illness or if actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors of a person or the result of a physical illness.

Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following… Read more »

eating-disorders brochure

Eating Disorders: About More Than Food [downloadable]

eating-disorders brochureEating disorders affect both genders, although rates among women and girls are 2½ times greater than among men and boys. Eating disorders frequently appear during the teen years or young adulthood but also may develop during childhood or later in life.

The eating disorders anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, and their variants, all feature serious disturbances in eating behavior and weight regulation. They are associated with a wide range of adverse psychological, physical, and social consequences. Read more »

treatment of children mental illness

Treatment of Children with Mental Illness [downloadable]

treatment of children mental illnessResearch shows that half of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14. Scientists are discovering that changes in the body leading to mental illness may start much earlier, before any symptoms appear.

  • What should I do if I am concerned about mental, behavioral, or emotional symptoms in my child?
  • How are mental illnesses diagnosed in young children?
  • How do I know if my child’s problems are serious?
  • Are there treatment options for children?
  • Are there treatments other than medications?

Read more »

NIMH teen depression

Teen Depression [downloadable]

NIMH teen depressionIf you have been feeling sad, hopeless, or irritable for what seems like a long time, you might have depression.

  • Depression is a real, treatable brain illness, or health problem.
  • Depression can be caused by big transitions in life, stress, or changes in your body’s chemicals that affect your thoughts and moods.
  • Even if you feel hopeless, depression gets better with treatment.
  • There are lots of people who understand and want to help you.
  • Ask for help as early as you can so you can get back to being yourself.

Read more »


Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens [downloadable]

ipolar-children-teens-cover_152392_1Does your child go through intense mood changes? Does your child have extreme behavior changes? Does your child get much more excited and active than other kids his or her age? Do other people say your child is too excited or too moody? Do you notice he or she has highs and lows much more often than other children? Do these mood changes affect how your child acts at school or at home?

Some children and teens with these symptoms may have bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness. Learn more in this resource from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Read more »


TeenzTalk – A Global Teen Community [web resource]

TeenzTalkNadia Ghaffari founded as a sophomore at Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California.  Ghaffari believes that teens are more likely to listen & relate to other teens on topics including stress-management & overcoming disappointment, failure, or challenges. places the focus on positive teen-to-teen influence. 

The purpose of TeenzTalk is to empower teens through peer-to-peer connections. TeenzTalk is a global community where teenagers can share their stories, inspire each other and learn from each other’s challenging experiences. By connecting to a larger community of teens, it allows adolescents to stimulate and motivate one another in their search for self-identity. Read more »


Questions and Answers About Suicide [downloadable]

nimh-q-and-aThe National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) answers questions about suicide and suicidal thoughts/behaviors in young people including risk factors, warning signs, resources, social media, reporting on suicide, and prevention.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported  that in 2014, suicide was the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10–24. Although these numbers may make suicide seem common, it is still a rare event. Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are more common than suicide deaths and are signs of extreme distress.

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are not harmless bids for attention and should not be ignored. Read more »


Autism Spectrum Disorder: Learn the Signs and Ask for Help if You’re Concerned [downloadable]

autism-cover_152383_1Doctors diagnose ASD by looking at a child’s behavior and development. Young children with ASD can usually be reliably diagnosed by age 2.

Some babies with ASD may seem different very early in their development. Others may seem to develop typically until the second or even third year of life, but then parents start to see problems. Learn more about developmental milestones that young children should reach at .

Older children and adolescents should be screened for ASD when a parent or teacher raises concerns based on observations of the child’s social, communicative, and play behaviors. Read more »

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