Free Resources for Teen Mental Health

Sometimes it’s difficult to get the help you need if you or someone you know is suffering from mental illness. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder, experiencing the symptoms of a mental illness is challenging. And, depending on the severity of that disorder, those symptoms can get in the way of being able to function at school, work, or home.

For this reason, it’s important to have resources for healing that are not only easy to access but also affordable. Fortunately, that’s one way that technology has been a great support for millions around the world. There are websites with a wealth of information about various illnesses and how they might affect a teen’s life. There are also many movies that highlight the challenges of mental illness and how an adolescent overcame those obstacles. There are also a significant number of videos that are available to watch about specific illnesses.

In truth, after a little digging, you and your loved ones might be able to find a number of affordable resources to support you or anyone else in need of mental health support. But fortunately, the digging has been started for you – the following is a list of free resources that might be useful for you and/or a loved one in need of mental health assistance. However, it should be noted that nothing can take the place of mental health treatment. Having support, which the following list can provide, and getting treatment are two different things. If you are experiencing mental health symptoms, contact a mental health provider for your highest level of safety.

The Road Back – This is a short film made by Acadia Hospital. It highlights teen depression and anxiety. This movie, which was written and directed by high school seniors, won Best Student Film at the Iowa Independent Film Festival.

The Truth About Depression – This movie reveals how debilitating depression can be for both teens and adults. The movie details the challenges of this mental illness as well as ways to find support.

Darkness Visible First Light – This is a short video that addresses the key issues of stigma and stereotyping that many teens experience when they are diagnosed with a particular mental illness.

PACER – According to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, one out of every three students will experience bullying every year.  PACER is a national non-profit based in Minnesota that delivers education and resources to the national community in order to prevent and respond to bullying. The center works with parents, teachers, and professionals to create a safe academic and social life for teens and children. This site has a number of free resources, including videos, stories, information about bullying, and events to spread the news about how to handle bullying when it’s happening to you or someone you know.

Strength of Us – This is an online community developed by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Teens who visit the site can network and join a community where they can access support through discussion groups, blog entries, videos, photos, and more. “StrengthofUs is an online community designed to empower young adults.” This statement is highlighted on the home page, making clear its purpose and the passion behind it.

The site also provides the following:

  • A crisis line for teens who need it
  • Resources for those struggling with anxiety
  • A sample budget for healthy finances
  • A list of recovery stages from mental illness
  • Articles on recent events regarding teen mental health
  • Support for depression
  • Healthy information on relationships
  • A blog called “The Wire”

In addition to these resources, many websites provide a wealth of information about mental illness, symptoms, diagnoses, challenges, and impairment on functioning, as well as support for daily management of a difficult disorder. This is particularly true of the larger organizations, such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), National Institute for Mental Health, National Institute on Drug Addiction, and others. The Internet is an enormous database of information, filled with videos, articles, stories, and movies that can provide the support you might be looking for.