6 months ago

Look Inside Young Adult Road Map

5 Guiding Star Point

5 Guiding Star Point five: Find Support mental health support For rock-solid information about mental illness in teens and young adults, try Mental Health America’s “Life on Campus” website http:// and the Teens/Young Adult pages of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website http://nami. org/Find-Support/Teens-and-Young- Adults. The Mental Health America (MHA) site offers dozens of short, useful articles and aids for college students (include step-by-step deep breathing exercises and a printable coloring book for lowering stress). MHA also offers online support groups. NAMI’s tumblr blog offers young adults a safe, moderated place to post thoughts, feelings, and expressions. Living An Independent and Interependent Life One very important task for any young adult is learning to live an independent life in which you can make choices and use your own voice. The other very important task is learning to live an “interdependent” life. In that life, your strengths are nourished. You cherish and are cherished by a community of friends and family (biological or not) who care about what happens to you. You have a purpose and a place in the world. You are here: Guiding Star Point Five Review 1. Create a back-up plan for where to go and what to do in a challenging situation or emergency. Look at your own strengths and concerns to determine where you might need more resources. Start with the agencies where you now get services, as they may have programs to help you. If you are concerned about having stable housing or enough food, don’t wait until these issues result in a crisis. 2. Take time to stay in touch with what you are feeling, so you know when to seek support. 3. Identify a person (or more than one person) you can trust to act for you in an emergency. You can give a family member or friend a Medical (Healthcare) Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney, so they can make medical decisions or pay your bills if you are seriously ill or injured. (You do not have to give both these documents to the same person.) 4. Be cautious about how you share personal details on social media. Never give out your full address. Check your security and privacy settings on social media accounts. Read through past threads on “chat boards” or online support groups to see if members seem knowledgeable about issues and show compassion toward each other. 5. Consider getting involved in a new community that relates to one of your interests. Attend an event, support group, youth council meeting, or drop-in center. Volunteer to help. Contributing to a community can raise your spirits and make your personal network stronger. 62

Guiding Star close-up: The Bridge to Everywhere A five-point plan for navigating transition services 63