Online Resources for Mental Health
Everyone deals with difficult times at one point or another. Students are not immune to emotional flareups and concerns about their mental health.
One in five young Americans experience a mental health issue, and nearly half of them do not seek treatment when they need it. Nonjudgmental support is more important than ever before, according to ReachOut USA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
When concerns arise, you can get personalized, instant help from several reputable organizations online. Three good choices are ReachOut USA, Your Life Your Voice and OK2Talk.
ReachOut USA offers peer support and mental health information in a safe and supportive online space. ReachOut is not a counseling or crisis service. It is an outlet for support and a place to find resources to deal with your issues.
One of ReachOut’s main help vehicles is its collection of forums where you can talk about whatever is on your mind. The forums center around helping 13-24 year olds.
Be aware, however, that a the ReachOut forums suspended the ability to add new comments on December 31, 2015. A grant that supported the cost of operating the forums ended. The organization hopes to re-open this part of the site soon.
Meanwhile, the forums and conversations are still visible online. The rest of the online services remain available. Check out the fact sheets, stories, videos and more on ReachOut.com.
YourLifeYourVoice.org is part of The Boys Town National Hotline. This website offers four ways to get help.
The site provides a support system for those who are depressed, contemplating suicide or being physically or sexually abused. It also offers support for those who are currently addicted to drugs, threatened by gang violence, fighting with a friend or parent or facing an overwhelming challenge.
The home page of the website displays a phone number for a help line that is available 24/7. Counselors can also be reached through chat, text message and email.
You can also try the mood journaling app, which makes tracking your thoughts simple and effective. The interactive tool, available for Apple and Android mobile devices, helps you record your feelings and moods on your phone or tablet.
The app lets you choose from a variety of animated emoticons to identify your mood. You can add details to your entry by writing, recording your voice or attaching a photo about what is happening. You can also get life tips on how to help turn your mood around when you are feeling down or stressed out.
OK2TALK maintains a community for teens and young adults struggling with mental health problems. It offers a safe, moderated place online to talk about what you are experiencing. You can share personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope.
The website encourages anyone to add his or her voice by sharing creative content such as poetry, inspirational quotes, photos, videos, song lyrics and messages. The website is sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).