Best Mental Health Resources For Kids and Teens

Early recognition of potential mental health issues is vital for children and teenagers.
Best Mental Health Resources For Kids and Teens

Mental health is crucial in every stage of life, but it's especially important for children and teenagers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 children and teenagers experiences mental illness. Unfortunately, many kids and teens don't get the help they need due to lack of awareness and resources.

That's why we've compiled the ultimate list of the best mental health resources for kids and teens. This list includes over 100 resources that can help children and teenagers get the support they need to manage their mental health.

Mental Health Hotlines and Crisis Services

When a child or teen is in crisis, it's important to have access to immediate help. The following hotlines and crisis services can provide support and guidance:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

A 24/7 hotline for people in crisis or emotional distress. The Lifeline provides support, resources, and confidential counseling to individuals who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

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Crisis Text Line

A 24/7 text-based crisis support service that connects individuals with trained crisis counselors. Anyone can text "HOME" to 741741 to receive support and resources for a wide range of issues.

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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline

A helpline that provides information, referrals, and support to people living with mental illness and their families. Trained volunteers can help connect callers with local resources and services.

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The Trevor Project

A national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth. The Trevor Project operates a 24/7 hotline staffed by trained counselors who offer support, resources, and a safe space to talk.

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Boys Town National Hotline

A national hotline that provides support, counseling, and resources for children, teens, and parents. The hotline is staffed by trained counselors who can offer help with a wide range of issues, from family conflicts to mental health concerns.

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Girls and Boys Town National Hotline

A national hotline that provides support, counseling, and resources for children, teens, and parents. The hotline is staffed by trained counselors who can offer help with a wide range of issues, from family conflicts to mental health concerns,

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Veterans Crisis Line

A free, confidential 24/7 support line for veterans and their families. The Veterans Crisis Line offers crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and resources for mental health and substance abuse.

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Trans Lifeline

A national trans-led organization that provides support and resources to transgender people in crisis. The Trans Lifeline operates a peer-support hotline and offers microgrants for legal name changes and gender-affirming surgeries.

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SAMHSA National Helpline

A free, confidential 24/7 helpline that provides information, referrals, and support for mental health and substance use disorders. The Helpline can help connect callers with local treatment facilities, support groups, and other resources.

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Mental Health Websites and Online Resources

The internet offers a wealth of mental health resources for kids and teens. The following websites provide information, support, and tools for managing mental health:

Teen Mental Health

Provides information on a wide range of mental health topics, including anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

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Youth.gov

Offers resources for youth mental health, including information on bullying, substance abuse, and suicide prevention.

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Child Mind Institute

Provides resources and support for families dealing with mental health issues, including a symptom checker and a referral service.

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KidsHealth

Offers information on a wide range of mental health topics, including stress, anxiety, and depression.

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Provides information on mental health research, including clinical trials and scientific studies.

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The Mighty

Offers personal stories and resources for individuals dealing with mental health issues, including a section specifically for children and teens.

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Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Provides information on anxiety, depression, and related disorders, as well as a therapist directory and support groups.

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Buddify

A meditation app that offers guided meditations for stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

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Calm Harm

A free app designed to help individuals manage self-harm urges through activities such as breathing exercises and distraction techniques.

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Eating Disorder Hope

Offers information, resources, and support for individuals dealing with eating disorders and their loved ones.

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Headspace

A meditation app that offers guided meditations for stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

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JED Foundation

Provides resources and support for teen mental health, including a crisis text line and a mental health resource center.

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Love is Louder

A project of The JED Foundation that offers resources for individuals dealing with depression, bullying, and other mental health concerns.

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Mental Health America

Provides information on mental health conditions, treatment options, and advocacy efforts.

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MindShift CBT

An app designed to help individuals manage anxiety through cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques.

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National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

Offers resources and support for individuals dealing with eating disorders and their loved ones.

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Psych Central

Provides information on mental health conditions, treatment options, and online support groups.

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Recovery Record

A free app designed to help individuals track their eating disorder recovery progress and connect with a support team.

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Self-Help Anxiety Management (SAM)

An app designed to help individuals manage anxiety through cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques.

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The Steve Fund

Provides resources and support for the mental health and well-being of students of color.

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Therapy for Black Girls

Offers a directory of therapists who specialize in working with Black women and girls, as well as articles and resources on mental health topics.

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Mental Health Apps

Mobile apps can be a convenient and discreet way for kids and teens to manage their mental health. The following apps have been designed specifically for mental health:

Calm

Offers guided meditations and relaxation exercises.

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Headspace

Provides guided meditations and mindfulness exercises.

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Moodfit

Offers tools for tracking mood and setting goals.

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Stop, Breathe & Think Kids

Offers guided meditations and mindfulness exercises specifically designed for children.

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SuperBetter

Provides tools and games for managing anxiety and depression.

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7 Cups

Provides free online therapy and counseling with licensed therapists and trained volunteers. Users can also join support groups and chat privately with listeners. Visit Website

Breathe2Relax

An app designed to help individuals manage stress and anxiety through diaphragmatic breathing exercises.

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Happify

Offers activities and games to help individuals build resilience, manage stress, and improve emotional well-being.

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Insight Timer

A meditation app that offers guided meditations from a variety of teachers and traditions, as well as a timer for self-guided meditation.

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MoodMission

An app designed to help individuals manage low mood and anxiety through evidence-based activities and skills.

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MyLife Meditation

Provides guided meditations, breathing exercises, and mood tracking tools.

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Recovery Record

A free app designed to help individuals track their eating disorder recovery progress and connect with a support team.

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Sanvello

Offers cognitive-behavioral therapy tools for managing depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as mood tracking features.

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Talkspace

Provides online therapy and counseling with licensed therapists via text, audio, or video messaging.

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Woebot

An AI-powered chatbot that provides cognitive-behavioral therapy tools for managing anxiety and depression, as well as daily check-ins and mood tracking features.

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Whether you're looking for meditation guidance, tracking tools, or therapy resources, these mental health apps offer a variety of options to help you manage your mental health on the go.

People also read: 40+ Best Resources to Help Kids and Teens Manage Anxiety

Mental Health Organizations

There are many organizations dedicated to improving mental health for kids and teens. The following organizations provide resources, support, and advocacy:

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Provides education, support, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

The Jed Foundation

Offers resources and support for youth mental health, including a crisis text line and a mental health resource center.

Active Minds

Provides resources and support for college students dealing with mental health issues.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Offers resources and support for suicide prevention.

The Child Mind Institute

Provides resources and support for families dealing with mental health issues, including a referral service.

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)

Provides information on evidence-based treatments for mental health conditions and a therapist directory.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Funds research on the causes and treatments of mental illness, as well as providing educational resources for the public.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

Offers support groups, education, and advocacy for individuals living with depression or bipolar disorder.

International OCD Foundation

Provides information, resources, and support for individuals living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders.

The Mighty

A digital health community that offers articles, personal stories, and forums on mental health topics.

National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)

Offers resources, support, and advocacy for individuals dealing with eating disorders and their loved ones.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Conducts research on mental health disorders and provides information on treatments, clinical trials, and resources for the public.

The Recovery Village

Provides information on addiction treatment options as well as a hotline for individuals seeking help.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Offers information, resources, and referrals for substance abuse and mental health issues.

Trans Lifeline

A crisis hotline for transgender individuals staffed by transgender volunteers.

Trevor Project

A crisis intervention hotline for LGBTQ+ youth staffed by trained counselors.

ULifeline

Provides online mental health screening tools, resources, and referrals for college students.

World Federation for Mental Health

An international organization that promotes mental health awareness and advocacy through education, research, and policy.

Youth Mental Health Canada

Provides resources and support for youth mental health, including a youth advisory panel and a peer-to-peer support network.

Zero Suicide Alliance

A suicide prevention organization that offers free online training on how to identify and respond to warning signs of suicide.

From advocacy groups to research foundations to online communities, these mental health organizations and resources offer a variety of options for individuals seeking support and information about mental health.

This is just a small sample of the many mental health resources available for kids and teens. By utilizing these resources and seeking professional help when necessary, children and teenagers can manage their mental health and live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Tips for Parents to Recognize Early Signs of Mental Health Issues in Children

It can be challenging for parents to recognize the early signs of mental health issues in their children. However, it is essential to be aware of these signs so that they can take appropriate action. Here are some tips for parents to help identify potential mental health concerns:

Changes in Behavior

If your child suddenly becomes withdrawn, irritable, or starts acting out, it could be a sign that they are struggling with their mental health.

Difficulty Sleeping

Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or oversleeping can indicate that your child is experiencing anxiety or depression.

Physical Complaints

Complaints of headaches, stomachaches, or other physical symptoms without an underlying medical cause may be a sign of emotional distress.

Decline in Academic Performance

If your child's grades suddenly drop or they lose interest in school activities, it could indicate that they are struggling with their mental health.

Substance Use

Substance use can be a way for children and teenagers to self-medicate and cope with underlying mental health issues.

If you notice any of these signs in your child, it is essential to seek professional help. Talk to your child's pediatrician or a mental health professional who specializes in working with children and teenagers.

It is also important for parents to create an open and supportive environment where their children feel comfortable discussing their emotions and seeking help when needed. By talking openly about mental health and modeling healthy coping strategies, parents can help reduce stigma surrounding mental illness and promote overall well-being for their children.

Final Thoughts

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being for children and teenagers. It is essential to recognize the early signs of potential mental health issues in order to provide appropriate support and treatment. Parents can play a vital role in promoting mental health by creating an open and supportive environment and seeking professional help when needed.

Fortunately, there are many resources available for kids, teens, and their families who are dealing with mental health challenges. From mobile apps to advocacy organizations to online communities, there is something for everyone. By utilizing these resources and seeking professional help when necessary, children and teenagers can manage their mental health and live healthy, fulfilling lives.

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