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Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children facing mental health challenges. While about 10% of youth had a serious mental health challenge before the pandemic, most studies point to an increase of at least 40%. This means that 50% of all children could be struggling with a mental health challenge today.

What is a Mental Health Plan?

Everyone has a physical health and a mental health. A first aid kit is for physical health, and a mental health plan is like a first aid kit for mental health.

Also called a coping plan, action plan, or emotional readiness kit, mental health plans are something you create, with a go-to list of what makes you feel better. Everyone’s plan is unique.

Create Your Plan

Creating a mental health plan is easy. While you’re feeling calm, make a list of what you enjoy doing. Your plan should also include the name of an adult who you trust and can reach out to when you need additional support.

Then, keep your plan handy—on your phone, in your pocket, or hanging in your room.

I play basketball, draw, and talk to my friends.

I like to play tennis, dance, and paint.

I like to play soccer, read, and journal.

I play baseball, piano, and take deep breaths.

What’s Your Plan?

We have daily routines that keep us physically healthy, like brushing our teeth and taking vitamins. By incorporating your mental health plan into your daily life, your routine can also keep you feeling mentally healthy.

Take the Next Steps

Talk to adults you trust

It’s a strength to know when a situation goes beyond your ability to cope on your own. A good mental health plan lists people and resources to help you get back on track. Adults who can help might include parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, or others in your community.

Hear from families & professionals

Talking with your family about your ups and downs each day is a great way to take care of your mental health. All families face challenges—but together, you can find ways to adapt, cope, and connect with community resources to make your family stronger.

Everyone has a mental health—and COVID helped us pay more attention to it.

Taking care of our mental health is important. Let’s keep talking about it—every day—and let’s keep listening to each other.