Resources for Youth & Families
Education. Support. Community.
Learning that you or your child has a mental health condition can be scary–especially when you don’t know where or who to turn to for information and support. Below are our favorite resources for young people, family members, caregivers, and other community members.*
Here are four easy ways to educate yourself and others about mental health and the needs of young people, find services and supports, and build community with people who understand what you’re going through.
1. Learn about mental health conditions & the needs of youth
- Know the Warning Signs
Knowing the difference between expected behaviors and symptoms of mental illness can be difficult. This guide, by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), helps you to “know the warning signs” by identifying common signs and symptoms for mental health conditions.
- Learn About Mental Health Conditions
Visit this NAMI resource to learn about the signs, symptoms, treatments, and support options for specific mental health conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and many others.
- Find Support for Teens and Young Adults
NAMI provides age-specific information and resources for young people experiencing mental health challenges.
- Children’s Mental Health Report
Incredibly engaging report by the Child Mind Institute, highlighting the commonness of childhood mental illness, the gap between illness and care, the cost to society of ignoring children’s mental health, and the effectiveness of treatment.
2. Learn about your rights & quality mental health services
- Foster Youth Mental Health Bill of Rights
Learn about the legal rights of California foster youth in regards to mental health treatment and supports.
- Family Guide to Community Based Services
This NAMI guide is designed to inform families about effective home and community-based services and supports for children and youth with mental health treatment needs and their families.
- Getting Medi-Cal Outpatient Mental Health Services
This guide, developed by Disability Rights California, helps families navigate how to access specialty mental health services through Medi-Cal.
- Extra Services for Children and Youth Under the Medi-Cal EPSDT Program
This guide, developed by Disability Rights California, describes the Medi-Cal entitlement program called Early, Periodic, Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT), which provides youth, under age 21 with full-scope Medi-Cal, with a number of health care benefits.
- Covered til 26
If you are a former foster youth living in California, you could be eligible for free Medi-Cal coverage until your 26th birthday! Check out this great free resource for more information.
3. Share your story
- Become a guest blogger for Young Minds!
Youth, caregivers, and advocates share their experiences with mental health challenges on our blog to raise awareness, end stigma, and encourage action. Share your story and make a difference today!
- 6 Steps to Telling Your Story
Telling your story of living with mental illness can be a powerful tool for change. Here are six steps for how to effectively tell your story, courtesy of NAMI.
- Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion & Suicide Prevention
Tips for communicating about mental health via social media.
- Social Campaigns We Love for Youth to Share Their Stories
A blog that provides a safe space for teens to talk about their experiences with mental illness.
A blog by New America Media that provides a space for youth to break the silence about depression.
- Your Voice, A Whisper Project
A platform that allows youth to share personal video stories to break down stigma and build community.
4. Connect with support organizations in your area
- Check out our list of ally organizations
Learn about other great organizations that support young people with mental health needs in California, and throughout the West.