The Top 3 Keys to Mental Health on Campus
Someone recently asked me, “What are the top three keys to mental health?”
I didn’t even have to think twice about my answers.
#1 is taking ACTION
There’s a pattern I’ve seen in my therapy practice and in my work with TEEN TRUTH over and over again: those who take action get better. For your students this could mean joining a new club. For you it could mean picking up a new habit and starting on it straight away. For your staff it could mean engaging an event in your school community. TEEN TRUTH’s school counselor, Penny Knight, did a great job with this topic in her most recent blog How to be a School Counseling Rockstar. CLICK HERE to read it and CLICK HERE to download her guidance lesson on goal setting. Remember, action is key. Make a choice, then make it happen.
#2 is living in healthy RELATIONSHIPS with others
It’s easy to resort to old relationships that might be unhealthy, or get stuck in our classrooms without really engaging. But we need to work to remedy these behaviors because the quickest way to mental health is through relationships. Research has shown that healthy relationships are our most direct path to happiness. TEEN TRUTH’s instructional coach, Sarah Hayden, offers a great blog and activity on how to develop stronger relationships on campus. CLICK HERE to check it out.
#3 is VULNERABILITY.
This might be the hardest one of the three keys discussed here, but those who can talk about their feelings, verbalize that internal conflict, and tell their truth enjoy better mental health throughout their lives. Why? Because they understand themselves better, gain insight from their feelings, and find solutions that fix the problems they face. For over 13 years, this has been the backbone of the TEEN TRUTH school assembly. Teaching students to tell their truth and find their voice is the most important step we can take to manage the pressures students face. If you think the TEEN TRUTH school assembly can help your students and staff, CLICK HERE to learn more.
I’m rooting for you this school year, and I hope everyday on campus you can model what it looks like to take ACTION, build RELATIONSHIPS, and show VULNERABILITY by telling your truth. Your example will have an impact. If you start taking these steps, your students and staff will notice and start doing them too.
JC Pohl, LMFT-A
President & CEO, TEEN TRUTH