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The Communities4Youth Difference

Youth Mental Health 101 (For Adults)

Mental health is a combination of our psychological, emotional, and social well-being, which affects how we think, feel, and act. We all have days or weeks where our mental health is good and days where we are sad, fearful, stressed, or experiencing a difficult time. Generally though, struggling with our mental health is a short term experience. When we struggle with our mental health over longer periods of time there is an increased risk for mental illness and negative effects on our physical health and well-being.

Upstream Prevention Resources

  • Upstream Prevention

  • Social Connection

  • Sleep

  • Physical Activity

  • Other Risk and Protective Factors

What is mental health?

Mental health is a combination of our psychological, emotional, and social well-being, which affects how we think, feel, and act. When you are struggling with your mental health, you can experience stress, depression, or increase your risk for mental illness.
We all have mental health struggles sometimes when we are sad, fearful, stressed, confused, or experiencing a difficult time - which are typically short term mental health struggles.

It's important to remember that mental health changes over time and mental health struggles are extremely common.

Is youth mental health that big of a deal?

Nationwide and in Idaho, data show that a large number of young people are struggling with their mental health. This can be challenging information for adults.


Many of us look back fondly on our teenage years, but youth mental health challenges are real and in a growing number of cases they are resulting in severe outcomes like young people having suicidal thoughts (often called suicidal ideation), and in rarer cases attemping suicide. What’s more, when youth mental health challenges are widespread within a community there are often not enough services or resources and there can be many barriers to accessing resources that do exist.


By focusing on upstream prevention for youth mental health we can limit the number of prolonged mental health struggles that occur in youth, and in doing so prevent severe health outcomes.

What do youth mental health struggles look like?

Some warning signs that someone is struggling with their mental health include a change in thoughts, behavior, or feelings that are:


  • Intense (ups and downs that are longer or stronger than usual)

  • Long-lasting (usually 2 weeks or more)

  • Negatively impacting their day-to-day routines, relationships or responsibilities

If a young person in your life is experiencing mental health struggles,there are a variety of Idaho-based resources available to support them, regardless of your location and finances that provided below.

If someone you know is exhibiting warning signs for suicide or experiencing a mental health crisis or emergency call or text 988 for the Idaho Crisis and Suicide Hotline or chat with a trained crisis response professional at


Youth Mental Health Help In Idaho

Student and Family Assistance Program from BPA Health
If you are located in Boise, Kuna, Kimberly, Heritage Charter, Twin Falls or West Ada school districts, your family has access to free counseling benefits through BPA Health.


Idaho 211
2-1-1 is a free referral and information helpline that connects people to a wide range of health and human services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply dial the numbers 2-1-1 from any phone.​

​​Find Help Idaho
A free, confidential, easy to use, online service that provides up-to-date information in more than 100 languages.Get connected to free and reduced cost help at for housing and utility assistance, education services, transportation, healthcare and more.

​​Gateway to Mental Health Resources in Idaho 
A free online service that helps people with mental health concerns connect with expert treatment and services. 


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