The solution is closer than you think.
Substance misuse and mental health coping skills directly from teens and young adults
The main coping skill I use is connection. I’ve got a gratitude list with a couple of friends and we check up on each other and we check-in and say “How’s everything going?” and what we’re grateful for today.
I have been working an AA program and stay connected with friends. That makes me feel less alone and isolated.
I do a lot of self-care. I’ve been drawing and painting and exercising. Exercising is great, the endorphins give me the kick, I’ve been cooking a lot and audiobooks are great. Also knowing when to separate and take time for yourself.Learn More
I found that therapy worked for me.
See a therapist if you’re experiencing any feelings that you’re trying to escape.
Do the work to stop the behavior from becoming a full-blown addiction. You learn grounding techniques and coping tips, skills that will help you get control over your life.
Putting my mental health first. 45 minutes of therapy a week helps. You can do it in person, on zoom, or on an app on the phone.
- Did I eat today?
- What brings me calm? A happy safe space?
- Ask for help.
When you make that jump from high school to college, people are not checking up on you as often. They’re not holding you accountable, you have to hold yourself accountable.
Reach out. Check in with people who care about you, frequently, in every aspect. If you’re struggling with school, let people know so they know to help you. If you’re struggling with your mental health, let the people around you know that you’re struggling because if you don’t tell them they’re not going to know.
Know when to ask for help. If you don’t know who to ask for help, Generation SOS is a great place to start. At Generation S.O.S. there are a lot of young people like myself around my age, and college-age. They have great advice; they don’t judge and everything you ask will be kept confidential.Learn More
When I was 20 years old I got sober. I thought getting sober was going to be the worst thing ever and that the fun was over. But I ended up being able to do everything I used to do.
I mostly have stayed sober because I’ve been happy. I’ve made friends with people who genuinely care about me and they call and ask me how I am. I’ve never had friends like that.
I was always using them for something or they were using me for something and now I have really nice friends.Learn More
I don’t do things that are unsafe for me. So, if I feel I’m at risk right now, I leave. I didn’t realize that was a thing I could do. You just leave, No one notices, no one cares.
I don’t have to make decisions right away, I can pause and take a second and think about the best way to handle a situation before doing anything.
At any point in the day if I am struggling with something there are at least 10 people I can easily call. At least one of them will answer.Learn More
A friend helped me to get sober and basically not die because he let me know he was there for me unconditionally. To have someone hug you and say I’m here for you, it’s going to be okay will probably stop you from killing yourself that day. At least it did for me.
The biggest thing is finding someone who I can be honest with.Learn More
Telling people that I wasn’t drinking was really scary. The idea of dating without drinking was really scary. It’s been 3 ½ years and my life has completely changed.
I started writing again and now I’m writing a book about being young and sober.Learn More
I got sober when I was 19. Sobriety gave me a choice, it gave me a chance to actually live.
I’ve gone to so many music festivals in sobriety, I’ve gone out clubbing so many times, been to so many parties. There’s nowhere in this world that I feel uncomfortable going because I’m sober. That’s my choice, and I don’t have to be afraid of any situation because there’s drinking around. I can go anywhere in the world because I’m free. When I was using it was a different situation. It’s given me present moment awareness, the ability to get in touch with who I am, what I like. It allows me to know what I’m feeling and not run away from those feelings.Learn More
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