By Andrew Hawk
Mental health is currently a high-need field in America. Even with advances in the field, scarcity of resources is a huge issue. During my time as a special education teacher, I regularly had my students’ parents approach me for advice on finding mental health resources for their children. They would often ask how to start the process. They also wanted to know which organizations other parents would recommend. And they often expressed how they wished there were more choices available.
Now add to this the extra layer of the pandemic. Everyone is doing their best to recover from and move on from the nearly countrywide shut down, which left many people in a position where they could not access in-person mental health resources. In addition, the pandemic created or compounded mental health challenges for lots of people. But it also spurred growth in many areas. One of these areas is the availability of online mental health resources. Here are seven you might consider if you or someone you know needs assistance with mental health.
The Child Mind Institute is an independent nonprofit organization that strives to improve the mental health of children and families. As part of this effort, they partnered with the state of California to produce a website with numerous video and printed resources that caring adults can use to teach social and emotional skills to children.
Found by the family of a young person who died by suicide, the Jason Foundation has strived to educate the world about truths and myths surrounding suicide and how best to prevent it. The website offers a complete and free training course on suicide prevention. Many states already utilize this course to train teachers and other caregivers as part of state licensing. Having completed this training myself, I would recommend it to anyone. I had several aha moments while completing the modules.
Based in Newark, New Jersey, this organization has made it their mission to collect information and resources for parents in need of mental health support for their children. On the website, you can find everything from basic fact sheets to detailed information about possible resources in your community. You can check out the webinar archive for instant access to webinars on numerous topics.
A nonprofit group run by individuals who are dedicated to improving children’s mental health. You can log onto their website for instant access to printable materials and webinars. They currently have chapters in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, and Oregon, and are interested in expanding their project to new areas.
Created by the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, this website emphasizes evidence-based approaches to treating adolescent mental health. You can find valuable insight on symptoms, therapies, and general tips, and you can find a link to receive a free mental health assessment.
6. 7 Cups
While many of the resources I have so far described offer literature, webinars, or help locating a professional in your area, 7 Cups can connect you with an actual person. They are very upfront that they charge a monthly fee of $150 to speak with a licensed therapist. However, they also offer free chats twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with trained listeners. These volunteers have received training from the website. This website is more geared toward adults, but they do work with kids ages thirteen through seventeen.
There is a wealth of resources for all age groups and diagnoses on the CDC’s Mental Health page. Visitors can browse national statistics, review up-to-date literature, and search for in-person resources in their area. This resource also shares the numbers of call lines that people in need can access immediately and around the clock. For example, users can text the Crisis Text Line for immediate, anonymous, and free mental health support.
One of the hardest parts of treating mental health issues is recognizing that there is a problem in the first place. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, look for the right resource to meet the person’s needs. The earlier a person can start taking steps to improve their mental health, the sooner they can start to feel better.
Stay healthy, everyone!
Andrew Hawk has worked in public education for 18 years. He started as a teaching assistant in a special education classroom. He completed his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana. Andrew has taught first, second, and fifth grades as a classroom teacher. In 2011, he earned his master’s degree in special education from Western Governor’s University. Andrew has worked as a resource room teacher and also has taught in a self-contained classroom for students on the autism spectrum. In 2017, he earned a master’s degree in educational leadership, also from Western Governor’s University. This is Andrew’s first year as a building principal. He is the principal of an elementary school that houses kindergarten through fifth grades. When Andrew is not preparing for school, he enjoys spending time with this wife and two daughters.
We welcome your comments and suggestions. Share your comments, stories, and ideas below, or contact us. All comments will be approved before posting, and are subject to our comment and privacy policies.