Puberty is a time of physical, emotional, and cognitive change. It’s when young people begin to leave the world of childhood and get their first glimpse of adulthood. However, growing up comes with its own challenges, like learning how to engage with peers and make responsible choices. Adding puberty into the mix can make teens especially vulnerable to exacerbated mental health issues. Therefore, it is important to understand the changing feelings and thoughts of your child and how to help them cope with this challenging stage.

If you are a parent, a teacher or a youth mentor, here’s what you should know about teenage mental health during puberty.

Puberty and Teenage Mental Health

The Challenges of Puberty

During puberty, teens often struggle with poor body image, peer pressure, intense feelings, body changes, and their newfound sexuality. This is also a time when kids begin making their own choices and seeking independence from their parents. As a result, increased conflicts with family members can also occur. These experiences are normal, but they can cause new challenges that affect a teenager’s mental health.

Unfortunately, early puberty also comes with more risks; many young people who experience early puberty are at risk for heightened mental health issues. This can include increased anxiety, depression, ADHD, eating disorders and self-harming behavior. It’s extremely important to check in with your child frequently and encourage open conversations about teenage mental health.

Signs that a Teen’s Struggles Go Beyond Puberty

As a parent, you probably know what to expect from puberty since you’ve experienced it yourself. You recognize that when your child reaches puberty age, they are going to experience new challenges. With that being said, not every behavior can be dismissed as a symptom of puberty. It is possible that your child needs professional help if they are struggling or their problems are severe.

  • Sudden changes in behavior or emotional states; becoming extremely aggressive or detached
  • A severe change in eating habits (extreme weight loss or gain, vomiting after meals that indicates a potential eating disorder)
  • Any signs of self-harm, including cuts, scratches or burn marks on body
  • A loss of energy, having no interest in friendships, family, schoolwork and other activities
  • Attendance problems at school
  • Risk-taking behaviors such as alcohol/drug use, violent outbursts, lying frequently or bullying others

What You Can Do

If you’re a parent, a guardian or a youth mentor, you may want to know what you can do to support a young person during puberty. One of the best things you can do is encourage open communication and let the young person in your life know that you’re there for them. Having a support system or even one supportive person who they can talk to and share their struggles with is essential. However, if you notice a teenager’s mental health decline over time, you can seek help for them by recommending professional care. Trust your instincts and, most importantly, speak with your child or mentee regularly as they move from childhood to young adulthood.

Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More

Visit our website for more information about teenage mental health, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources like mental health tips so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

All parents want to raise their children to be happy and healthy. With so many new pressures and problems on the rise, however, it can be hard to know what to do. Today, adolescents are feeling increasingly isolated, and they may not know how to communicate what they’re going through. it’s not always easy to tell when your child needs help. If you’re a parent, you might find these six mental health tips useful.

5 Mental Health Tips for Parents

1. Check in With Your Kids Regularly

Parents think they need to be superheroes, but being able to “do it all” isn’t necessary. The best thing you can do is simply be there for your kids. Be present and available when your children want to talk, and be sure to check in with them regularly. Even if they’re not entirely receptive at the moment, they should know that they can come talk to you whenever they need to.

2. Don’t Blame Yourself

When you, your child or another family member is going through a stressful time, it can be easy to blame yourself. You may be thinking: “What am I doing wrong?” or “Am I not a good parent?” Remember that you’re doing the best you can, don’t fall into the trap of comparing your situation to that of others.

3. Confide in A Trusted Individual

You aren’t alone in this, and it’s okay to ask for help. Seek out a physician, a therapist, a family member, a child’s teacher, or a trusted friend. Let them know what you’re experiencing. If your child is struggling, it’s perfectly normal to feel helpless or unsure of what to do next. You might be surprised at how uplifting it can be to receive guidance from someone you trust. Moreover, they may offer advice that you would never have considered yourself.

4. Cool Off, Don’t Argue

It happens: when stressful situations arise, tempers flare. In this scenario, it’s important to remember your role as the adult in the room. Allowing your anger to get the best of you isn’t healthy for you or your child. Whenever you’re tempted to lash out or say something you might regret, take a pause to cool off. If you can’t have a productive conversation, save it for another time.

5. Don’t Forget About Your Own Mental Health

If you’ve ever flown on an airplane, you’ve heard something like this during the in-flight safety speech: “In the event of an emergency, place your oxygen mask over your mouth and nose before assisting others.” This is a difficult rule for parents to follow. Instinctually, you want to protect your kids first. With that being said, you can’t help them effectively without helping yourself. If you don’t practice self-care and look out for your own mental health, how can you expect your kids to do the same? As far as mental health tips go, this is the most important one to keep in mind.

Interested in More Mental Health Tips for Parents? Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More

Visit our website for more information or mental health tips, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources like mental health tips so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

Anxiety is a common problem that can affect anyone, but children are especially at risk. Between 2016 and 2019, the number of children experiencing anxiety had already climbed 27%. By 2020, there were 5.6 million kids diagnosed with anxiety.

According to the CDC, common types of anxiety in children are as follows:

  • Separation anxiety: fear of being away from parents
  • Phobias: fear of certain things or situations, like visiting the doctor
  • Social anxiety: fear of school or places with many people
  • General anxiety: fearful of the future or catastrophic events
  • Panic disorder: recurrent episodes of intense fear (with symptoms like a pounding heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating)

Fortunately, there are many effective options available and they can be used to target different kinds of anxiety. You may find one of these anxiety treatments for children effective.

3 Anxiety Treatments for Children

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is based on the concept that our thoughts and feelings impact our beliefs and behavior. In practice, this type of treatment involves carefully exposing children to triggers until they feel safer and less anxious. Let’s say, for example, that a ten-year old girl named Laura experiences a panic attack. The attack took place in the middle of soccer practice, and now Laura is afraid of returning to practice. A therapist might recommend visiting the empty soccer field with a parent or trusted guardian, then eventually going back when people are present. Laura may be encouraged to journal afterwards to document her thoughts and feelings. Over time, she should feel more comfortable in that environment. Ultimately, the goal of CBT is to reduce both avoidance and ritualistic behaviors. This anxiety treatment for children is usually paired with medication.

2. Attention Bias Modification Treatment (ABMT)

ABMT is typically recommended for patients who have little to no success with CBT. With ABMT, computer-based attention training programs are used to transform a child’s attention bias. Most people experiencing anxiety fixate on anything they find threatening in their environment. The computer programs are designed to retrain a child’s attention patterns. This works by introducing them to threatening and non-threatening stimuli while they’re focusing on an attention-based task. This is a relatively new anxiety treatment for children, and more research is required to determine its effectiveness. However, current results are promising.

3. Prescribed, Clinician-Approved Medications

Medications aren’t suitable for every child; however, when combined with therapeutic methods, they can yield positive results. Some medicinal anxiety treatments for children that a therapist might recommend include antidepressants and benzodiazepine. Anti-depressants start working quickly, but they can be unsafe for some children, and side effects can also be damaging. Benzodiazepines are less likely to cause side effects, but they are not intended for long-term use. When it comes to medication, we encourage you to speak with your child’s physician and/or psychiatrist to make the right determination.

Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More about Anxiety Treatments for Children

Visit our website for more information about anxiety treatments for children, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

In truth, every family can benefit from family therapy. However, like traditional therapy, many people balk at the idea initially. The idea of sitting down to discuss problems with your family members can be both uncomfortable and unnerving. Some believe it won’t solve anything, or that other family members will be unwilling to listen. In this case, it’s important to remember that therapists are trained to help you communicate better. They won’t solve problems, but they’ll give you and your family the tools you need to move forward. With a professional’s help, this type of treatment helps couples, parents, and children better understand each other.

If you’re unsure about signing up for family therapy, you aren’t alone. With that being said, you may want to explore how it can benefit you. To help you understand what you can gain from family therapy, we will explore its advantages.

5 Benefits of Family Therapy

1. Learn How Your Family Functions

If you live with your family members, you may not even realize what problems each person is facing on a daily basis. Perhaps your spouse comes home from work frustrated, talkative and irritable. When he speaks with other family members, he’s short with them and initiates arguments impulsively. As a result, everyone feels they’re walking around on eggshells. For you and your children, this is the “norm.” You may not understand that a larger issue is at play, or that it can be resolved in time. With family therapy, you can learn what patterns have become the norm in your family. Once as issues are recognized, they can be closely examined and discussed.

2. Gain Important Communication Skills

To be able to resolve issues, we first need to communicate our honest thoughts and feelings. Again, this may be highly uncomfortable at first, especially if you don’t do so often. However, in time you’ll find that it’s extremely helpful to talk. This way, each family member knows exactly what the other is thinking rather than relying on assumptions. Great communication skills are useful throughout life, so it’s beneficial to develop them in family therapy.

3. Learn How to Resolve Problems with Compassion

At home, tempers flare and conflicts can easily escalate into shouting matches. In this type of situation, the problem is rarely resolved. A therapist encourages everyone to be forthcoming, but to do so in a way that isn’t harmful. In family therapy, you’ll learn how to look at a problem objectively and calmly rather than lashing out.

4.  Reveal Your Feelings in a Safe Environment

Today, families face all kinds of challenges. It’s not difficult to understand why some family members may be uncomfortable opening up to others. For instance, let’s say a 16 year-old in the LGBT community wants to come out to their conservative parents. The parents have noticed their child is excluding them from the details of his/her/their life, so they’re interested in family therapy. In a safe environment and with a third-party present, the teen may be encouraged to speak up and discuss feelings they’ve been holding inside.

5. Develop Better Relationships with Siblings, Parents and Children

For many people today, the word “family” means different things. The people you consider family may not even be related to you by blood. Most of the time, however, our families will be a guiding force in our lives. These are people you should be able to rely on and connect with during tough times. By working on relationships with our siblings, parents, and children, we can forge unbreakable bonds that can help us navigate life. That’s why family therapy is always worth the effort.

Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More about Family Therapy

Visit our website for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

What role does education play in youth mental health? Informing our youth is an essential part of helping them to develop mentally and emotionally. In the past, kids were not encouraged to speak up about their struggles. They were told not to cry, to be “seen, but not heard.” This misguided approach led to increased shame, isolation and loneliness. It also made untreated mental illness prevalent in our society. Today, we know that a mentally healthy individual is more likely to feel fulfilled in life. The more we educate our youth, the more comfortable they’ll feel opening up to others.

You’ve probably heard the phrase “knowledge is power,” and that certainly applies. However, when it comes to youth mental health, awareness is also power. Parents and kids need to know symptoms, signs, and how to ask for help.

Education Helps with Early Detection

If you don’t know you have a problem, how can you solve it? Some kids (and adults) with mental health issues believe their struggles are the “norm.” If they recognize that’s something is wrong, they may view it as a personal failure or a personality defect. Education helps kids understand that they are not alone. Their challenges are not unique to them; in fact, some of their closest friends could be facing the same exact problems. Education also teaches young people that asking for help is brave. The sooner they know about mental health, the sooner they can receive help.

Education Encourages a Safe, Open Environment

When youth mental health is prioritized, it gives way to universal understanding and acceptance. From there, more kids can feel safe sharing their innermost thoughts. When young people learn how to express themselves, it can even inspire them to pursue goals they wouldn’t have otherwise. Ultimately, no child should feel like their emotions need to be bottled up and hidden away. By educating kids and adults, we can bring youth mental health out of the darkness and into the light. We can also encourage kids to be themselves without apology.

Education Shows Parents and Teachers How to Address Different Mental Health Challenges

When we talk about youth mental health at Lead4Life, we don’t exclude adults from the conversation. Instead, we welcome them. For kids, their parents, guardians and mentors are their primary examples in life. Those examples can either be positive or negative. With proper education, parents and teachers can know what indicators to look for. A trusted adult is often the first source of help for a child who is suffering. When older individuals know what youth mental health issues look like, they’re more equipped to provide assistance. Furthermore, education introduces adults to various mental health challenges. Parents and teachers should be able to recognize and help with everything from anxiety to post-traumatic stress. However, being able to help doesn’t mean you should have all the answers. Knowing when to seek medical care is sometimes the most important thing you can do.

Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. Today to Learn More about Youth Mental Health

Visit our website and check out our mentoring initiative for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

Family therapy is a way of working with families to help them to solve problems, develop strategies to manage their difficulties, and become happier and more fulfilled. It also provides a way for families to get to know each other better and learn more about what matters to them.

It’s important to understand that all families struggle at one point or another, and there’s nothing wrong with accepting support. Many families benefit from an objective, third-party point of view, and they appreciate having the chance to talk openly. Are you considering group therapy for your family? Taking this step can be challenging, but we believe all parties will benefit from it. To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve outlined the four main goals of family therapy below.

The 4 Most Common Goals of Family Therapy

1. Working to Understand Family Dynamics in a Safe Environment

Family therapists focus on achieving this goal within the first few sessions. Before they can help, they need to know what your family’s situation is. For instance, a therapist might ask why you sought out family therapy. They may want to know about previous conflicts, prior incidents and current concerns. Family therapists work to understand patterns of behavior in a family and what can be done to improve them. Discussing family dynamics at home may lead to conflict, and this can be a major roadblock for everyone. In a safe environment, however, everyone is encouraged to be open and honest.

2. Examining and Reforming Communication Styles

In family therapy, the most crucial goal is to communicate. For some families, this may be especially difficult. A family therapist will help you engage and interact in a way that is respectful. With that being said, initiating communication is only the first step. From there, families will learn how to communicate effectively. This means listening to each other, speaking with empathy and understanding each other’s needs. 

3. Improving the Family’s Problem-Solving Skills

In most cases, family therapists won’t try to pin down the exact cause of a problem. It’s common for individuals to point the finger at one another when this occurs, which does little to help the healing process. Instead, your therapist will focus on learning to problem-solve. Additionally, they’ll ask about a stressful situation and how the family responded to it. This will help them better understand the behavioral patterns that typically lead to conflict. When families understand their habits, they’ll also be better equipped to change them. 

4. Reducing Pressure Points and Conflict Escalation

The ultimate goal of family therapy is to limit conflict, not to eliminate it completely. Families will always have challenges to face, but family therapy can help you face them with candor. Ideally, families should walk away feeling a weight lifted from their shoulders. Each family member should be able to communicate openly and problem-solve rather than escalating conflict unnecessarily.

Receive the Benefits of Family Therapy at Lead4Life, Inc.

Could your family benefit from family therapy? Visit our website and check out our Family Therapy programs for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949. At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

Video games, social media, and online education have become the norm for kids today. In a 2003-2004 study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, it was found that kids were sedentary for 7 hours daily. By 2009, that number had increased to 8.6 hours, or 62% of daily waking hours. Today, this problem has only worsened; even parents struggle to make time for regular exercise. Sedentary activity is widespread across the nation, and this makes staying active more important than ever.

Youth sports are a great way to keep kids on their feet. Additionally, it can help develop their social skills, build confidence, and teach them important life lessons. Read more to find out why youth sports are important and how they can benefit your child.

Regular Exercise and a Way to Release Energy

Kids are full of energy, and they need a physical outlet of some kind. Youth sports encourage children to release their feelings in a positive way. In addition, it helps them stay healthy. According to the Mayo Clinic, kids 6 years and older need at least one hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity. Vigorous activity (such as running, hiking or riding a bike) is recommended at least 3 days out of the week. By signing up for youth sports, kids will automatically have a chance to exercise and have fun while doing it. 

Forming Close Friendships with Teammates

By participating in youth sports, kids have the chance to get to know their teammates and build meaningful connections. If your child is struggling to meet friends, this can be a great way to introduce them to other kids in the community. Together, teammates learn how to depend on one another and work towards a common goal. Team sports also teach them that in order to succeed, they have to support each other.

Learning How to Lose

In youth sports, winning a game or a competition can be exciting and rewarding. However, it’s likely that at some point, your child’s team will lose. This is an excellent learning experience, as it shows kids how to cope with failure. As they grow, your children will face many complex challenges and pitfalls. Perseverance and learning how to lose are highly valuable skills. Similarly, when teams win, it’s equally important for kids to learn how to win respectfully. There are few other activities in which kids can encounter concepts of failure and success in such a direct way.

Finally, it’s essential to recognize that youth sports aren’t for everyone. While you shouldn’t hesitate to encourage your child to take part in any sport they enjoy, no child should feel pressured. If they try youth sports and tell you they aren’t benefiting from it, listen. In the future, they can try many other engaging activities that interest them.

Learn More about Youth Sports at Lead4Life, Inc.

At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

Does your child need a non-parent mentor? Visit our website and check out our mentoring initiative for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949.

Learning disabilities (LD) are a range of different difficulties that people with conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD and more may face. According to Understood.org, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. experience learning and thinking differences. However, only 1 in 16 public school students have access to individualized education programs designed for LD. This means that not enough people are getting the help they need. In fact, they may not even know they have a learning disability. Unfortunately, 33% of teachers and educators often attribute LD symptoms to laziness or a lack of intelligence. Untreated learning disabilities can increase the probability of being unemployed and not completing college, among other problems.

If you believe that you or anyone you know might have a learning disability, getting educated is the first step. This guide is designed to help people with learning disabilities and their support team to take control of their learning.

Signs of Learning Disabilities

The signs listed below can indicate a possible learning disability. However, it’s important to speak with a health professional rather than making your own diagnosis.

  • Inability to focus
  • Difficulties with math, reading or writing
  • Trouble with memory
  • Inability to stay organized
  • Trouble with directions and telling time
  • Clumsy or awkward behavior

In regard to children, there are a few additional symptoms to keep in mind:

  • Impulsive behavior
  • Getting distracted often
  • Recurring school performance issues
  • Trouble listening or understanding
  • Issues with handling schedule changes

What Causes Learning Disabilities

There is no single explanation for learning disabilities. However, some factors are linked to the development of learning disabilities:

  • Genetics. If learning disabilities run in your family, that could increase the chances of developing a learning disability yourself.
  • Environmental reasons. Some hazardous materials and toxins like lead have been linked to learning disabilities.
  • Problems during pregnancy. Premature birth, a low birth weight, alcohol or drug use, and other complications during pregnancy can lead to learning disabilities.
  • Trauma. Events like childhood abuse and physical injuries can potentially trigger learning disabilities.

Types of Learning Disabilities 

You may be wondering just how many learning disabilities there are, and what different types of learning disabilities entail. The most common learning disabilities and their specific indicators are as follows:

  • Dyslexia: difficulty reading or spelling, mispronunciation, trouble forming words or recalling sequences, trouble with seeing or hearing the differences between letters and words
  • ADHD: difficulty concentrating, impulsive behavior, getting frustrated easily, unable to plan, organize or multitask
  • Nonverbal learning disabilities: difficulty with nonverbal cues such as body language and facial expressions, clumsy behavior, early ability to speak verbally and understand language
  • Dyscalculia: trouble understanding clocks, math concepts, and numbers
  • Dysgraphia: difficulty with motor skills, spatial understanding, grammar, writing and forming letters

Treatment Options 

If you or someone you know is suffering from a learning disability, there are several treatment options available. While learning disabilities cannot be cured, people can live with their symptoms and lead successful lives with the help of experts. We recommend speaking to a health professional today to receive detailed information about treatment plans. For most individuals (especially younger children), guidance during school and learning is the most effective way to treat learning disabilities.

  1. IEPs. Individualized Education Programs are designed to assist those suffering from learning disabilities .These curriculums track learning goals and provide services like communication aids to help students succeed.
  2. Special Education. If an individual qualifies for special education, they will have access to supplementary teachers, counselors and a customized curriculum suited to their needs.

Learn More about Learning Disabilities with Lead4Life, Inc.

At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills. We also offer individual and family therapy to help you overcome obstacles of all kinds. Visit our website for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949.

Let’s say that Martha has been experiencing some troubling mental health symptoms. She doesn’t have a network of close peers or a strong support system. Even worse, she feels like she doesn’t have the time to take care of her mental health. She goes through the same routine every day: an alarm wakes her up, she gets ready for the day, she commutes to work, sits in traffic again on the way home, has dinner, and prepares to do it all over again. It’s hard for her to imagine finding the time to make regular appointments, especially if they’re emotionally exhausting. She also struggles with the thought of sitting across from a therapist and sharing her deepest thoughts and feelings.

It can be hard enough to acknowledge mental health concerns and even harder to find a treatment plan that works. Not everyone has access to care that covers mental health, and if available, it may be too costly. Smartphone apps provide an alternative to therapy that works for many individuals like Martha. They are certainly worth a try if you feel like traditional therapy isn’t for you. However, it’s important to mention that none of the apps listed below are a substitute for in-person sessions with a medical professional. Furthermore, if you struggle with a smartphone addiction, you may want to search for a different option.

Top 3 Smartphone Apps That Will Improve Your Mental Health 

1. Bloom: CBT Therapy and Self-Care

Bloom advertises itself as the equivalent of having a therapist in your pocket. The app uses self-guided CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) methods to help users find what works for them. These include journaling exercises, guided therapy sessions, and other activities to transform your thought patterns and behavioral reactions. Users also have the chance to select the coaches they like best, report their daily moods, practice mindfulness, and gain insights over time.

Bloom offers a free trial so users can try the service before committing to a long-term plan. After the trial period, the cost is $14.50 per month or $59.95 yearly. Most professional therapy sessions cost much more per session, so this will still save you plenty of money.

2. Talkspace  

Talkspace is an app that connects you with real mental health professionals who are trained and licensed. With this option, users are able to speak to a therapist through text, video and audio messaging. Talkspace works by first asking you to fill out a brief assessment form. Then, you’re able to pick a provider and start therapy. The company also specializes in couples’ therapy, teen therapy and psychiatric evaluations. Truthfully, this is about as close as you’ll get to professional therapy without booking an in-person appointment.

Using Talkspace costs $69 per week, but you’ll receive unlimited messaging therapy with a licensed expert. For $129 per week, you can also receive 4 45-minute live sessions per month. They also offer a 7-day free trial.

3. Calm

If you suffer from anxiety, Calm is the perfect app for you. This app provides a wide range of meditative exercises, relaxation methods, breathing exercises, sleep aids and audio programs. Even beginners who are looking to start meditating can enjoy the preventative benefits of this app. Of course, with severe mental health complications, it’s always better to receive help from a licensed professional. But for those who are experiencing anxiety symptoms and looking for quick, easy relief, this is a great app to try.

Calm offers a 7-day free trial. After that, the annual cost for Calm Premium is $70 or $14.99 a month.

Partner with Lead4Life, Inc. to Improve Your Mental Health

At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills.

According to data from Mental Health America (MHA), over 50 million Americans are currently experiencing a mental illness. Due to the pandemic, these numbers have risen dramatically over the past few years. In fact, 664,000 more people have reported suicidal thoughts in 2022 than last year. Though alarming, this information isn’t meant to terrify you. If you’re going through a personal struggle, it’s important to know you’re not alone. Countless other people feel the same way, and trained professionals can guide you. If you’re feeling more anxious, depressed, and stressed than ever, then it’s probably time to seek help from a therapist. Unfortunately, due to the stigma surrounding mental health, few people do so. Trust your instincts. If you’re experiencing any of the following signs, your body is telling you it’s time to seek assistance.

1. You Can’t Get Relief

In life, we’re always grappling with challenges. Whether it’s a stressful time at work, a complicated relationship, or grief due to loss, there’s always something to contend with. When we aren’t suffering from a debilitating mental illness, we’re able to create a healthy balance between stress and joy. Things like a strong support system or a fulfilling hobby can provide us with light in dark times. However, if you feel like you can’t get any respite from overwhelming thoughts and feelings (or enjoyable things no longer give you joy) it’s probably time to see a therapist.

2. You Feel Like There’s No one to Talk To

Do you sometimes feel like your mind won’t “turn off”? Perhaps you feel like you have a lot you need to get off your chest, but there’s no one to speak to. Maybe you’re worried about burdening others with your emotions, or you’re scared they won’t understand. In some cases, you just might not have the support you need from others. A therapist is an unbiased third party who is trained to communicate with and guide you. Why not let them listen?

3. Your Normal Habits Have Changed

Throughout our lives, we’re always growing and changing. However, some of our habits can start to change in a negative way. Let’s say, for instance, that you always used to sleep soundly. Now, you can never get a good night’s rest. You wake up in the middle of the night, can’t sleep at all, or you never feel rested. Maybe you’re turning to risky behaviors or isolating yourself from family and friends. Take a step back and ask yourself if these apply to you. If they do, it’s time to see a therapist. They can help you understand these changes and translate what your body is trying to communicate to you.

4. Your Coping Mechanisms are Hurting You

We all have things we look forward to that lift our spirits: a good meal, a night out with friends, or our favorite music. When life becomes too overwhelming to bear, however, we might turn to other coping mechanisms like alcohol and drugs to ease our pain. In some cases, we may even use the dizzying effects of love and flighty romantic relationships as a sort of drug. It can seem as though these things take away all our problems. Unfortunately, this feeling is only temporary. Relying on outside elements to help us is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Coping mechanisms can cover up damage momentarily, but underneath the wound is still there. In actuality, these things inflict even more harm to us over time.

5. You’re Wondering if You Should See a Therapist

If your gut is telling you that you need help, listen. Chances are, you’re right. If you’re wrong, there’s nothing to lose. A therapist isn’t only there to help us when we’ve reached our lowest point. Therapy is also preventative. It’s time we prioritize our mental well-being. Most importantly, therapists can teach us how to meet life’s challenges with a fighting spirit. If you’re wondering if you can benefit from seeing a therapist, why not give it a try? In truth, everyone could benefit from added support. If you’d like, you can even receive therapy in a group or with a family member.

Meet with A Therapist and Partner with Lead4Life, Inc.

At Lead4Life, we strive to empower every participant in our programs so that they may find their purpose, achieve their goals, and become poised, productive members of their community. We advocate for those in need and assist each and every individual by providing compassionate education and valuable resources and tools so that they can make the very best decisions and develop important life, social, and competency skills. We also offer individual and family therapy to help you overcome obstacles of all kinds. Visit our website for more information, or contact us at 240-499-8949.