How Social Resources Can Promote Good Teen Mental Health
It’s no secret that adolescence is a critical period marked by significant physical, emotional, academic, and social changes. These, combined with the pressure to navigate them all successfully (or appear to), leaves mental health in teens and pre-teens vulnerable to serious challenges. Yet, in part because adolescents are more likely to be influenced by friend and peer relationships, social support can have significant positive outcomes for navigating mental health conflicts.
Here are some types of social resources adolescents can tap into as they work toward mental health success.
Effective Social Resources for Navigating Mental Health Challenges
It’s important to note that there are a wide variety of social resources that can be effective in overcoming mental wellness challenges. These can range in nature from personal to completely anonymous:
- In-person and online friends. Maintaining healthy relationships with friends plays a crucial role in teen and pre-teen mental health. Spending time with friends in person allows for important face-to-face interactions, which foster a sense of connection and camaraderie. However, engaging in shared activities and open communication online can also provide emotional support and a safe way to share concerns and experiences, especially when in-person socializing isn’t practical or convenient.
- Peers experiencing similar challenges. Teens facing mental health challenges often find solace in connecting with online peers who are going through similar experiences. High-quality support groups and communities provide a space where teens can safely share their stories, receive empathy from peers who understand their struggles, and gain new insights or coping strategies. The resulting validation and sense of belonging can help to reduce feelings of isolation.
- Mental health apps. Various mental health and wellness apps can also be harnessed to support teen mental health. They can be considered social in that they serve large demographics and may have messaging features. Wellness apps provide tools and resources for self-care, stress reduction, and tracking moods and habits, all with user-friendly interfaces. It’s important, however, to choose reputable apps that are evidence-based and developed with input from mental health professionals.
- Online forums. Online forums focused on mental health can be valuable resources for teens. These enable young individuals to anonymously seek advice, share experiences, and ask questions related to mental health challenges. Participating in these discussions can provide emotional support, reduce feelings of loneliness, and offer a sense of community among peers. Teens should seek out forums hosted by reputable mental health organizations and related nonprofits.
Get and Offer Social Support for Teens With ReGroup Foundation
ReGroup Foundation is a non-profit that helps pre-teens, teens, and their families anonymously share and benefit from mental health success stories. Too often, the best resources and practices in teen mental health care remain under the radar. We want all families to benefit from the triumphs of those who have been there, done that. We make this possible by collecting family reviews of local mental health caregivers and facilities as well as their personal strategies for helping teens recover from wellness challenges.
In only 15 minutes, you can begin making a world of difference in the lives of other teens and their families—just by anonymously sharing your successes. Register today and start sharing your reviews and mental health insights!