Do I Need Help? A Mental Health Guide for Youth and Families

Published on October 22, 2020

We all have mental health challenges or experience(d) mental health challenges in the past. But when can we tell if it becomes a situation where we need to find help? Many youth (and adults) will brush off some mental health symptoms as ‘having an off day/week/month/year,’ but at what point do we tell someone, or seek professional guidance? Hopefully the following can help.

First, figure out how much your mental health symptoms impede with your daily life.

“Do I have mild symptoms that have lasted for less than two weeks?”

This can include:

  • Feeling a little down
  • Feeling down, but still able to do your job, schoolwork, or housework
  • Some trouble sleeping
  • Feeling down, but still able to take care of yourself or take care of others.

If so…

Here are some self-care activities that can help:

  • Exercising like aerobics, yoga, cardio.
  • Engaging in social contact (Virtually or in person when safe).
  • Getting adequate sleep on a regular schedule
  • Eating Healthy
  • Talking to a trusted friend or family member
  • Practicing meditation, relaxation, and mindfulness.

If the symptoms above don’t improve or seem to be worsening despite self-care efforts, talk to your health care provider, or reach out to us at the California Youth Crisis Line by calling or texting 800-843-5200.

“Do I have severe symptoms that have lasted two weeks or more?”

This can include…

  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Appetite changes that result in unwanted weight changes.
  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning because of mood.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable.
  • Unable to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities.
  • Thoughts of death or self-harm

If So…

We encourage you to seek professional help which can include:

  • Therapy (Virtual or in-person; Individual, group, or family)
  • Medications (prescribed by a mental health medical professional)

The California Youth Crisis Line can also be a helpful resource to connect you to any service you need. Regardless of where you are in California, you’re not alone.  Youth and families can call us or text us at 800-843-5200 and we can find any of the above resources in your area that are immediate, safe, and at any price range.  We hear you and we’re here for you.





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