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Mental Health Resources for Kids, Teens and Adults

January 3, 2021

By Janis D. Gioia, MAEd. and Elise C. Gioia (Student @ University of Utah)

The calendar may have changed, but the stressors from 2020 remain with us in 2021. The pandemic has led to increased anxiety, disrupted routines, loss of job security and financial instability.

Now, more than ever, children, teens and adults need wellness resources to support their physical and mental health. Many health professionals say that anxiety related disorders are a silent and invisible pandemic, on the rise as we continue to battle Covid.

People are isolated, lonely, and anxious.

That’s why we curated a list of some of the best mental health resources and websites to help you and your loved ones find peace for mind, body and spirit.

You will find links below to mental health organizations, meditation and yoga resources, positive social media platforms, sound healing, and many more.

Jump to:     

Resources for Children

For mental health support:

The National Institute of Mental Health

According to their website, “The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders, offers basic information on mental disorders, a range of related topics, and the latest mental health research.” This link will take you to their page for child and adolescent mental health.  They have many links for adult mental health as well.

This link, on the NIMH site gives PDF instructions to make a “stress catcher game to help children practice coping strategies for stress and anxiety.

Child Mind Institute

This is a non-profit dedicated to helping children and families with mental health and learning disorders. Their website has resource links, articles and offers help in finding mental health providers.

Association for Children’s Mental Health (ACMH)

This Michigan-based non-profit has excellent articles for parents of children with mental health issues.

Mental Health America

This non-profit provides numerous resources for children, teens and adults living with mental illness.

For Help with COVID-19 Anxiety:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the USA shares how to discuss the pandemic with children.

Comforting Anxious Children has an article with links and resources to help children with COVID-19 Anxiety.

The National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) has tips and support.

The National Association of School Psychologists has a Covid-19 Resource Center with helpful articles and links.

Relaxation Videos:

Relaxation videos distract children from their fears which helps them relax.  Many relaxation videos utilize guided imagery, enabling children to calm themselves.

Guided imagery is especially helpful for children who are anxious at bedtime.  Using guided imagery creates a soothing evening ritual that calms children who have a hard time going to bed.

Guided imagery involves using all of the senses to produce a state of deep calm.  Research validates that guided imagery can reduce heart rate, blood pressure, pain and, of course anxiety.

My favorite relaxation videos are from Corys Conscious Living and New Horizon.

Corys Conscious Livingproduces amazingly peaceful and beautiful videos for children on her YouTube Channel.

comforting anxious children

Corys guided imagery and relaxation videos also feature whimsical artwork and soothing stories and meditations to help children relax and fall asleep.

Our favorite resources from Cory are:

Ella’s Magical Horse

Sarah’s Rainbow Angel.

New Horizon Holistic Centre produces beautiful free relaxation videos, guided meditations and relaxation music on YouTube.

Meditations comforting anxious children

 

Our favorites, from New Horizon, areThe Big Purple Dinosaur andBed in the Clouds.

Try guided imagery with your child.  We think you will be amazed how well it works to comfort your child…and yourself as well.

 

 

Bibliotherapy

Bibliotherapy means using books to promote positive mental health.

While there are books that are especially written as bibliotherapy, dealing with a particular topic like anxiety, bullying or depression, any book can have bibliotherapeutic benefits

 

Picture books calm anxious children.

There are so many wonderful picture books to comfort anxious children.  We feature many of them on our website as Soothing Stories.

Our new favorite book is Rachelle Burk’s Don’t Turn the Page.

In times like these when life is chaotic and routines have been disrupted, many children are struggling with bedtime anxiety.  Don’t Turn the Page is a charming “story-within-a-story” telling the tale of Sami, a little hedgehog who doesn’t want to go to bed. Reading and ritual finally put her to sleep, and hopefully your little ones as well.

Your child will love watching a read aloud of Don’t Turn the Page on Kidtime Story Time with a teddy bear and a dragon puppet.

Another one of our favorite bibliotherapy books is The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak.

It tells the story of Chester, the raccoon, who is nervous about going to school for the first time.  When his mother gives him a kiss to hold in his paw, Chester realizes that his mother’s love is with him wherever he goes.  This book is especially helpful now as children struggle with going back to school after long times away due to COVID quarantines.

Little Parachutes

Little Parachutes, another fabulous and free resource, offers guidance in selecting books to help children with the challenges that come their way.

The website, with soothing whimsical artwork, showcases picture books that help children with all issues “big and small.” 

Image of Little Parachutes comfort anxious children

Storylineonline.net

Children love listening to stories.

There’s nothing quite like snuggling up and hearing a favorite story read aloud..so calming and relaxing.

Especially now, with routines disrupted, listening to stories provides children with comfort and structure.

When an adult isn’t there to read, how about Kevin Costner, Melissa Gilbert, Sean Astin, or any of a number of celebrated actors?

Storylineonline.net produces YouTube videos and brings books to life.

This fabulous free children’s literacy website features beloved classics like Harry the Dirty Dog and The Rainbow Fish and newer releases like Clark the Shark and HeyThat’s MY Monster!

Storylineonline.net creates an engaging literacy experience for children at home, school or in hospital or hospice settings.

The website, available 24/7, has an extended library of classic and newer books to choose from with a variety of themes and topics for kids from Pre-K to 5th grade.

We think Storylineonline.net might also appeal to older children and tweens and teens, and even adults, espeically those in assited living or memory care housing.

Mindfulness/MeditationYoga Resources for Children

Mindful is a non-profit with great mindful/meditation resources for children and adults.

Stop, Breathe, Think Kids is an app that helps children discover quiet peacefulness to help them sleep.

Insight Timer’s Meditation for Kids offers free meditations to help children learn mindfulness and meditation skills.  Many of these meditations are FREE.

Yoga with Adriene.  Website with link to a YouTube Channel with free yoga videos.

Kids Yoga Stories.  Wonderful yoga resources for kids 2-8.

Resources for Teens

For mental health support:

National  Suicide Prevention Hotline

“The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Love Is Respect offers 24/7 resources and support for teen and young adult relationships.

The Jed Foundation

From their website: The Jed Foundation is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults.”  They have amazing resources to “support schools, students, families and communities.”  They offer IMMEDIATE support to those in crisis by phone or by text.

Project UROK

This is a fabulous and very teen friendly site.  According to their website, “Project UROK is an inclusive community with expert mental health resources for teens and young adults who are committed to ending the stigma and isolation of struggling with mental illness.”

We really like is their videos of “actors, Olympians, authors, comedians, business people and influencers each sharing a message of hope to their younger selves about growing up with a mental health or learning disorder.”

We think it is so important for teens and young adults to see the stories of others who have struggled with mental health challenges, learning disabilities, and struggles of any kind.  Knowing that you aren’t alone, that you aren’t the only one who struggles is so empowering!

UROK offers personal stories from everyday teens and is a safe space where contributors can share their mental health struggles.  Great resources too.

OK2TALK

Part of NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness)

According to their website, “OK2TALK is a community where teens and young adults struggling with mental health conditions can find a safe place to talk about what they’re experiencing by sharing their personal stories of recovery, tragedy, struggle or hope.

Anyone can add their voice by sharing stories, poems, inspirational quotes, photos, videos, song lyrics and messages of support in a safe, moderated space. We hope this is the first step towards helping you get the support you need to feel better.”

Notalone.nami.org

This site is also part of NAMI, and it offers readers a community to share their mental health journeys, personal stories and videos.  The website lets readers know that they are not alone.

Voices4Hope

According to their website, Voices4Hope “is a place for teenagers and young adults with mental health conditions to find resources and stigma busting information that can help us lead happy and independent lives.”

National  Suicide Prevention Hotline

“The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Positive Social Media

On Instagram:

The Anxiety Healer

My Easy Therapy 

Full Spirit Quotes 

The Happy Sloth Club 

How Mental 

Mental Illness Quotes Info

The Sad Ghost Club  

Self Care Spotlight

Mindfulness/Meditation/Yoga Resources for Teens

Mindful is a non-profit with great mindful/meditation resources for children, teens and adults.

Mindfulness for Teens Resource Page.  This website has apps, books, meditation recordings, meditation supplies, lists of retreats for teens and families, social networking sites, etc.  Wonderful resources to help teens with finding peace through mindfulness and meditation.

Mindup “helps promote positive mental health and well being” by offering mental health programs for schools and families.  A wonderful resource for teaching emotional regulation and social skills.

Palouse Mindfulness.  Great MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.)  I have been doing these meditations for years and find that they help with anxiety and finding a sense of overall well-being.

Stressed Teens is a mindfulness-based stress reduction program designed for teens.

Yoga with Adriene.

Music Therapy and Sound Healing

YouTube Channels:

Healing Sleep Tones

Jason Stephenson

Magnetic Minds

Meditative Mind

Meditation and Healing

Power Thoughts Meditation Club

Soothing Relaxation

Yellow Brick Cinema

Resources for Adults

For Mental Health Support:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

(USA) Free, confidential support for those in distress and their families.   Offers emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.        Call 1-800-273-8255

National Domestic Violence Prevention Hotline (USA) offers 24/7 support and resources for domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Samaritans.org is a non-profit in The United Kingdom offer 24/7 suicide prevention and emotional support to anyone in crisis in the United KingdomIn Great Britain call 116 123.  You can also reach them by email, chat, or a self-help app.

Wikipedia has this list of over 80 international suicide prevention hotlines in countries around the world.

The National Institute of Mental Health has information and resources for mental health disorders.

For Help with COVID-19 Anxiety:

Samaritans.org also has a Covid-19 Mental Health Resource with articles and links to help with mental health challenges during the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) USA offers these helpful links and resources for Covid-19 stress and anxiety.

Mindfulness/Meditation/Yoga Resources

Mindful is a non-profit with great mindful/meditation resources for children, teens and adults.

Palouse Mindfulness.  Great MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.)  I have been doing these meditations for years and find that they help with anxiety and finding a sense of overall well-being.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Yoga Videos by Dr. Lynn Rossy.  These wonderful, free yoga videos offer help for stress reduction and help people with chronic conditions.  

Yoga with Adriene. Free yoga instruction online for all skill levels.

Music Therapy and Sound Healing

YouTube Channels:

Healing Sleep Tones

Jason Stephenson

Magnetic Minds

Meditative Mind

Meditation and Healing

Power Thoughts Meditation Club

Soothing Relaxation

Yellow Brick Cinema

Positive Social Media

On Instagram:

The Anxiety Healer

My Easy Therapy 

Full Spirit Quotes 

The Happy Sloth Club 

How Mental 

Mental Illness Quotes Info

The Sad Ghost Club  

Self Care Spotlight

We hope this list helps you and your child connect with wellness resources that will make 2021 a year of health, peace and comfort. If you have a favorite wellness resource that you’d like to share, please let us know in the comments section below.

Wishing you light, comfort and peace, Jan and Elise

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