Mental Health Awareness Month with RAHS: Accessible Behavioral Health Services for Youth

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April 15, 2024

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the importance of, behavioral and emotional health. At the Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools (RAHS), we are committed to supporting youth behavioral health by providing accessible behavioral health services to individuals 21 years old and younger, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

Our goal is to ensure that every young person has the support they need to thrive. Here are some activities and tips to help manage stress and promote mental well-being that you can do at home. Here are some ways to get started:

  1. Practice Mindful Breathing
    Mindful breathing is a simple yet powerful way to reduce stress and promote calmness. Take a moment to inhale deeply, hold, and exhale slowly. This activity can be done anywhere and anytime you need a quick mental reset.
  2. Journaling
    Journaling is a great way to express feelings and manage stress. Grab a notebook and jot down your thoughts or try gratitude journaling. Writing can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and emotional growth.
  3. Prioritize Physical Activity
    Physical activity is crucial for behavioral health. Take a walk, dance to your favorite song, or try yoga. Moving the body releases endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
  4. Destigmatize Seeking Help
    It’s important to destigmatize seeking help for behavioral health issues. At RAHS, we offer accessible behavioral health services to ensure no one feels alone in their struggle. Encourage youth and adolescents to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor if they need support.
  5. Practice Gratitude
    Gratitude can shift focus from negative to positive and boost overall well-being. Take a moment to list three things you are grateful for each day. This practice can have a profound impact on mental health.
  6. Emphasize Self-Care
    Self-care is essential for mental wellness. Set aside time for activities you enjoy, whether it’s reading, painting, or listening to music. Taking care of oneself is crucial for maintaining good mental health.
  7. Challenge Negative Thoughts
    Negative thoughts can be overwhelming. Encourage youth to pause and reframe negative thoughts into positive or realistic ones. This practice, combined with our behavioral health services, can improve resilience and overall mental health.
  8. The Importance of Sleep
    Quality sleep is crucial for both mental and physical health. Try for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Creating a comfortable sleep environment can greatly enhance sleep quality.

At RAHS, we understand the unique challenges that adolescents face. Our accessible, youth-friendly behavioral health services are designed to provide the support and resources needed to navigate these challenges effectively. Mental Health Awareness Month is a reminder that mental health matters, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, please do not hesitate to reach out. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of our youth and foster a community where mental health is a priority.

For additional mental health resources, check out the following trusted organizations:

Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health, and taking steps to care for your mind is crucial to overall well-being.