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Remember, if you’re struggling with any type of crisis situation including suicidal thoughts and other emotional or situational problems, please know that you are not alone. Call 2-1-1, or visit the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, to speak confidentially with someone who cares. For additional resources, check out our Counseling & Mental Health Programs page.

Let’s face it, life isn’t perfect for anyone, and good mental health comes from knowing that we can cope with whatever life sends our way. Mental health is about the quality of our life and being able to find balance between the many parts of our lives – family, school, social life, relationships, activities, spiritual beliefs, and so on.

It’s almost impossible to have perfect mental health. Life is full of ups and downs, and everyone will face difficult and stressful situations. The cool thing is that we can all work at improving our mental health in the same way that we can change and improve our physical health. By developing strong relationships with people that can support us, and learning healthier coping skills we can build good mental health one step at a time.

Being mentally well can also help prevent mental illness which can start to show up in the teen years or younger.

How to Improve Your Mental Health

There are lots of ways you can improve your mental health. It’s helpful to think about the supportive people in your life that you can talk to, the things you like to do, and things that you like about yourself. You could even make lists to help yourself remember when you are having a tough time. Writing your lists on a good day can be really helpful when things aren’t going well. Keep your lists in mind and remember it’s important to look after yourself!


Your lists might look something like these…


People I can talk to:

  • A trusted friend or family member

  • A trusted guidance counselor or teacher

  • Someone at a health clinic

  • A phone line, like 2-1-1 that is available 24/7 to offer hope and healing

Things I like to do:

  • Hang-out with friends

  • Talk to people

  • Cry/laugh/hug

  • Write, draw, play music

  • Play sports

  • Dance

  • Go for a walk

  • Read

  • Watch TV/Movies

  • Go shopping

  • Make something

  • Get to know myself

Things I like about myself:

  • Funny/have a good sense of humor

  • Good at helping people

  • Good at drawing, painting, writing, etc.

  • Good at sports or dancing or walking your dog

  • Good at cheering people up/yourself up

  • A good friend

  • Being kind

  • Being smart

  • Good at cooking

  • Good at music

  • …And so on and on!

It isn’t arrogant or conceited to like things about yourself, everyone has skills and talents, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling proud, showing them, or acknowledging them!

Everyone needs healthy coping skills, especially when they’re not feeling great. Depending on someone’s circumstances, it might be more difficult for someone to get through a hard time than it is for others, but that doesn’t make it impossible, and there are some things on these lists that anyone can do!
(Adapted from Teen Talk, 2019).


Teen Talk. (n.d.). Mental health. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from

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