All resources are free and confidential.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Over the course of your life, if you experience mental health problems, your thinking, mood, and behavior could be affected. Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including: 1) biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, 2) life experiences, such as trauma or abuse, and 3) family history of mental health problems”
Below is a list of some, but not all, common mental health challenges. All information and resources below are free and confidential.
Anxiety – What do I do if I’m feeling anxious?
All individuals experience anxiety sometimes, but if it is starting to interfere with your daily life, you might want to ask an adult you trust, like a parent, guardian, aunt or uncle, grandparent, or older sibling or cousin. You can also ask your doctor, your teacher, or a school counselor for help. You can learn more about symptoms here.
You can learn more about symptoms, techniques for how to manage anxiety, and information on where and how to get help here. You can also download the Clear Fear app, which may help you manage symptoms of anxiety.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – What should I do if I can’t focus or pay attention?
Autism Spectrum Disorder – What do I do if I am autistic or struggling to understand an autistic person who I care about?
There are many symptoms of autism, including difficulty understanding other people’s feelings, repetitive behaviors, intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures or colors, among others. You can learn more about symptoms of autism, complete screenings, and learn about resources here.
Depression – What do I do if I’m feeling sad? What if I have lost interest in activities I used to enjoy?
Dyslexia – What do I do if I have difficulty learning to read or interpreting words?
You can find resources on dyslexia and ADHD here
Eating Disorders and Body Image – What do I do if I can’t control my eating habits? What if I eat when I’m stressed? What if I feel the need to throw up or exercise a lot every time I eat? What if I consistently don’t feel good about my body?
National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA): The National Eating Disorders Association provides a crisis text line, phone line, and online chat support, as well as screening tools to determine if you might have an eating disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – What do I do if I feel the need to control things, or can’t move on with my daily life without doing something multiple times?
You can learn about symptoms of OCD, how to manage OCD, or how to ask for help here
PTSD – What do I do if I am having nightmares or panic attacks? What do I do if I experienced something traumatic that I still believe affects me?
You can find information about PTSD symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment here.
Self Harm – What if I have thoughts of hurting myself?
Suicidality – What if I have thoughts of ending my life?
Call or text the Samaritans or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Make a safety plan and reach out to an adult you trust, like a parent, guardian, aunt or uncle, grandparent, doctor, or school counselor for help.
Resources for People of Color and LGBTQIA+ Individuals
People from communities of color or LGBTQIA+ communities may face unique mental health challenges. All information and resources below are free and confidential.
Resources for Black and Latinx Individuals (including resources in Spanish)
This page contains blog posts by young people reflecting on their experiences, and what techniques have helped them.
Therapy For Black Girls provides podcasts, a blog, and other mental health resources for Black women and girls.
The Steve Fund focuses on the mental and emotional well-being of young people of color. Their ‘Resources’ tab on their website has links to blog posts, a podcast, crisis text line, and webinars.
Visit this site for information on coping with traumatic stress.
This page contains links to Spanish Language mental health screening tools, and other infographics about mental health
AAPI (Asian American & Pacific Islander) Resources
Visit this site for Asian American Health Initiative mental health resources.
Asian Women for Health: a community-based network dedicated to advancing Asian women’s health.
Asian LifeNet Hotline: a suicide prevention hotline providing services in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Fujianese.
Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence: 24 hour multilingual helpline and resources for escaping domestic violence.
LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) Resources:
The Borum at Fenway Health: If you want gender affirming healthcare, access to HIV medication, or have any other questions about medical issues, the Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center is a program of Fenway Health that provides safe, non-judgmental care for young people ages 12–29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else. No one is turned away
BAGLY: The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY) is a youth-led, adult-supported organization with a clinic, support group, and other resources
Social and Community Sources of Stress
Many external forces can influence your mental well-being. All information and resources below are free and confidential.
Abuse/Domestic Violence/Partner Abuse
If you have questions about experiences in your relationships that you think may be abusive, you can find resources here or here. Love is Respect (first link) also has a Dating Abuse Hotline for real-time support and information.
You can call, text, or chat online with the National Domestic Violence Hotline if you are worried somebody in your life is the victim of abuse, or if you are a victim.
StopBullying.gov has information about what to do if you or someone you care about are being bullied, including resources about cyberbullying.
If you feel anxious about climate change, you are not alone! Climate or Eco-anxiety is an increasingly common form of anxiety, especially among teens.
COVID-19 caused a major disruption in all of our lives, and it is normal to feel stressed about the pandemic. There are steps you can take to reduce this stress.
Here are some ideas for how to cope with stress related to money.
Disagreements with family members is normal, but conflict can also be stressful, and can lead to unsafe situations.
You can find information about family conflicts and conflict resolution here.
Access to free contraceptives (pregnancy prevention) and STI testing can be found in Massachusetts at these locations, among others:
The Clinic at BAGLY (Boston Alliance of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Youth)
Boston HAPPENS (HIV Adolescent Provider and Peer Education Network for Services) provides free testing, HIV counseling and testing at Boston Children’s Hospital
Codman’s X-Clinic (Dorchester)
If you have been the victim of rape, sexual assault, incest, or other forms of sexual violence, you can call RAINN for support and resources.
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) provides a hotline, assistance getting medical treatment (they will escort you to a hospital), legal assistance and other services.
You can find information about alternative learning environments where students can complete their education in a substance use recovery environment here.
You can call the Mass Substance Use Helpline if you or somebody you know is struggling with substance use, which can help connect you with resources.
Ways to ask for help
If you are struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. All information and resources below are free and confidential.
Hotlines/Text Lines/Chat Lines
The National Suicide Prevention Hotline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals. You don’t need to be actively contemplating suicide to call this number – you can call it if you have a friend in need, if you are starting to have dark thoughts, or just need some support. Provides support in English and Spanish.
Crisis Text Line: If you are more comfortable texting, Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via text.
Not OK App: It can be hard to reach out to people to tell them you need help. The NotOK app allows you to pre-select up to 5 contacts, and when you press a button in the app, it will text those contacts with your location and a message that says “Hey, I’m not OK. Please call me, text me, or come find me.”
Asian LifeNet Hotline: A suicide prevention hotline providing services in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and Fujianese.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: You can call, text, or chat online if you are a survivor of domestic abuse or are concerned about a family member or friend.
SafeLink – a Massachusetts 24/7 domestic violence hotline/resource for anybody affected by domestic or dating violence: Responders are bilingual in English and Spanish and have access to translation services in over 130 languages. There are also options for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: Call, text, or chat online. If you are being hurt, know someone who might be hurting, or are afraid you might hurt someone else, you can call, text, or live chat this Hotline.
Knowing when to talk to an adult you trust or ask for help
It is important to know when to ask for help. It is better to ask earlier, before you are in an emergency situation. Asking for help does not mean you are weak.
Think about an adult you trust who you can ask for help if you need it, like a parent or guardian, aunt or uncle, grandparent, or older sibling or cousin. You can also ask your doctor, your teacher, or a school counselor for help.
Here is some advice for how and when to ask for help.
Self Care, Media, Stigma, & Being a Good Mental Health Ally
Information about how to be an ally to friends, take care of your own mental health, find information through social media and books, and address the stigma that sometimes accompanies struggling with mental health.
Visit this page for ideas for self care activities.
Visit this page for a list of meditation and mindfulness apps (note, while most apps have a free version, many also have subscriptions/paid options).
Many mental health professionals share advice on TikTok and other platforms. Not everything you see on those platforms is correct and helpful, but they can be a good way to learn about ways to improve your mental health.
Check for channels run by people who have a PhD in psychology, or who are a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or a psychiatrist.
https://www.instagram.com/namicommunicate/ (general mental health support)
https://www.instagram.com/trevorproject/ (LGBTQ+ Youth crisis and suicide prevention)
https://www.instagram.com/thelovelandfoundation/ (supporting communities of color, with an emphasis on black women)
https://www.instagram.com/jedfoundation/ (supporting high school and college students)
https://www.instagram.com/translifeline/ (supporting transgender individuals)
Young adult novels dealing with mental health:
You can check out physical books for free at your local library, or download the Libby app for free to check out audiobooks from your local library.
You are not defined by your mental health illness or the challenges you face with your mental health. Stigma regarding mental health can lead people to be reluctant to seek help, and can also make you feel more alone. It is important to combat stigma associated with mental health, both in yourself and others. You can find resources on for how to address mental health stigma here.
How can I help support the people I love?
Even if you are not experiencing difficulties with your own mental health, it is important to be an ally to those who are.
Educate yourself about signs and symptoms of common mental health conditions so that you can identify warning signs.
Listen with empathy and ask your friends and family how you can help if they are struggling.
Be mindful of your language (avoid stigmatizing terms like ‘crazy’ or ‘insane’).
Helping people with mental health disorders can be draining; it is important to take care of your own mental health as you support others (refer to the self care resources above).