How To Better Your Mental Health

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I personally have had history of mental health issues. I also know, as a student at PV, that many students or even teachers also have mental health issues. There’s many ways that people tell you to better your mental health. Most of them honestly don’t work. With being a teenager comes stress and anxiety and the need for fitting in. Consequently, with social media and all the ways we can troll and attack each other anonymously online, many teens are being bullied both in person on campus and online. This bullying can cause many forms of anxiety and/or depression. In many cases, teens have killed themselves over this because they felt they had no way out. The truth is there is a way out. There’s more outlets than you think their are. Sometimes you just have to look. Bullying might not be the only cause of it, it is still a big factor. Some might be triggered by childhood traumas, family problems, friend problems, relationship problems, the need to fit in, or even just everyone telling you your best isn’t good enough. I’ve dealt with many of these issues. This is what has helped me over the years (about 6-7 years to be exact) and what is here for you on campus that can help.

  • Writing
    • I started writing short stories and poems about how I felt instead of doing something harmful to myself or others
  • Coping skills
    • I only use one coping skill because honestly most of them don’t work for me
    • This is called the spiral.
      • You find where you keep your stress or anxiety or just the bad feelings, for me it is my lower back.
      • You turn these feelings into a kind of energy that is spiraling in that area
      • Figure out which way it turns, clockwise or counter clockwise, and turn it in the opposite direction
      • you will feel a sense of release in that area of you do it correctly
    • You can find others online that may help you more.
  • Working out
    • I have always been insecure and sad with how I looked so I started going to the gym twice a week
    • on top of feeling better about yourself it releases a hormone that makes you happy
  • Getting rid of toxic people
    • I’m not going to lie I didn’t have great friends at some points in my life.
    • I cut out the people who were holding me back or creating too much stress and drama
  • Bringing in people that make you happy
    • with cutting people out you find your real friends
    • surround yourself with people who make you happy and you can trust 110%
  • Therapy
    • Even with these sometimes it isn’t enough
    • I started going to therapy sophomore year and stopped because I didn’t feel like it was working. About halfway through junior year I went back and it helped me a lot
    • this may not be an option for everyone, but its a good option to have
  • 504 Plan
    • Most people don’t know what this is. It is a accommodation for people with mental or physical disabilities
    • Yes, anxiety and depression fall in that category
    • It’s a bit of a process at first, but PV does a great job at getting this for you if you really need it
    • You can get more time on tests, sit where you need to, not present or present to only the teacher and other accommodations can be made for your specific case.
  • Health and Wellness Club
    • They meet Tuesdays in room 607
    • Help inform students about ways to better your health both physically and mentally
    • Meditation
    • Healthy but good tasting food
  • NAMI club
    • They meet Fridays in room 219
    • National Awareness of Mental Illnesses
  • Mrs. Collins
    • Pioneer Valley Support Group
      • General support group that talks a lot about anxiety and depression
    • Healthy Relationships Girl’s Group
      • Support for girls who have been in abusive or otherwise toxic relationships that can be a cause of depression or anxiety
    • Reach
      • For students not in school
      • Deals with anger management, communication skills, conflict resolution and violence prevention
    • SHARe
      • To educate about Safe and Healthy Adolescent Relationships
    • Drug and Alcohol Awareness Group
      • For students who have or had drug and alcohol problems at school.
    • Resolving conflict (Girls Group)
      • Conflict resolution
      • Anger Management
      • Assertive communication
    • Positive choices and Advanced Positive choices
      • Encourage students to make positive behavior choices in their lives
      • Self-esteem building
      • Communication skills
    • Teen Grief group
      • Support group for students who have lost a loved one and assists as they go through the bereavement process
    • SOCKS
      • Students offering Comfort Kindness and support to students of various genders and sexual identities
      • Mostly for LGBT (all are welcome)
  • Coach Rock
    • Diet is important! Whole food plant-based diet
      • Nacho line has a burrito that can be made plant based
      • No meat
      • No cheese
      • No dairy
    • Meditation
    • No processed sugars
    • Exercise
    • Having a good support system