Open to Care

Column Paragraph

You don't have to keep the hurt inside. Talk to someone.

Teens face a lot of pressures and stresses today. It’s OK not to be OK sometimes. Feelings of loneliness, anger and worry are completely normal, and you’re not alone. Many teenagers struggle with thoughts and feelings that make it harder to be with friends and do the things they want to do each and every day.

Reaching out for help can be scary, but it’s actually incredibly brave.

Versión en Español

If this is a crisis

If you feel like you are spiraling out of control, or are thinking about hurting yourself, call the free 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. Someone is always there to talk—day or night.

Just call, text or chat 988 at any time to talk to a trained counselor who will listen, provide support and connect you to other resources that can help.

How to know when to reach out for help

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts, feelings, emotions or behaviors, it may help to talk it through with someone. Ask yourself:

  • Am I doubting myself?
  • Am I talking down or negatively to myself?
  • Am I isolating from my friends and family?
  • Am I struggling more than usual?

You don’t have to struggle by yourself, and you’re not alone in what you’re feeling or experiencing. Know that you have people and resources to support you and help you feel better.

Open up. Reach out. Help is here for you.

Who to go to for help

The most powerful step we can each take to support our mental well-being is to simply talk to someone. Talk to someone who you trust and feel comfortable with. That person may be a doctor, parent, teacher, school counselor, religious leader, relative, neighbor or friend. Here are a few people you might consider:

Talk to a family member

Talk to a trusted adult in your family. This might be a parent, grandparent, adult sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle or someone else who you consider family. Our families often share our history and experiences, and you may find that someone close has struggled with a similar issue or situation.

Talk to your doctor

Your doctor is there to help you protect both your physical and mental well-being. They will likely want to ask you a few questions and will work with you to figure out what kind of support you might need. They may recommend that you speak with a therapist, psychiatrist or other mental health professional and can help make that connection for you.

Talk to someone you trust at school

If you’re in school, find a trusted teacher, coach, nurse, counselor, principal or other staff member to talk to. They are there to help you and can work with you on ways to overcome whatever situation you may be in. 

Talk to a friend

Sometimes it feels most comfortable to talk to one of your friends. They may be going through the same things that you are. Talking with a close friend can help you process your feelings. 

Learn more about mental and behavioral health

Interested in learning more about mental health for teens and children? Find more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Spread the word. Download Open to Care materials and share with your community: