Resources for Mental Health issues, signs and where your students can seek help

Mental illness covers a wide spectrum of conditions that affect children, teens, and adults. Almost one in five U.S. adults are diagnosed with a mental illness. Mental illness can be broadly separated into two categories: any mental illness and serious mental illness. Any mental illness covers all mental illnesses that have been recognized to date, whether that’s occasional depression or another behavioral, emotional, or mental condition that causes upset but can be dealt with without extreme intervention. Serious mental illness encompasses conditions that are more severe, including severe versions of things such as depression. These are behavioral, emotional, or mental conditions that cause serious functional impairment, interfering with one or more major life activities. Addiction Counselor has put together a comprehensive guide that can provide some useful information to your students who may have mental health issues.

Common Mental Health Issues


People struggling with suicidal ideation (thoughts) don’t usually kill themselves out of the blue. Instead, they often mentally prepare themselves for the moment, often keeping it secret. However, there are some signs to look for:


  • Feeling unbearable pain
  • Talking about killing themselves
  • Expressing hopelessness
  • Feeling like a burden to others
  • Feeling trapped


  • Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves
  • Unexplained aggression
  • Being reckless
  • Giving away beloved possessions
  • Isolating behaviors


  • Loss of interest in life
  • Depression
  • Feeling humiliated
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Stressful life events may push someone over the edge. They may have experienced prolonged stress at home, school, or work. They may also have access to a means of committing suicide (drugs or weapons).


Not everybody gets addicted to gambling. But if you think you know someone who has gotten hooked, look for these signs:

  • Missing school, work, or other commitments because of a need to gamble
  • Gambling more than they intended
  • Hiding signs of gambling activity (betting slips or lottery tickets)
  • Always talking about gambling—it has become their lives
  • Being criticized by others for their gambling behavior
  • Spending more time or money on gambling than they can afford
  • Increasing their gambling to win back their losses
  • Gambling to escape problems at home or work, or to relieve boredom, depression, or anxiety
  • Selling things, stealing, or borrowing money to get money to gamble or to repay gambling debts
  • Developing financial difficulties after gambling away money intended for bills

Chemical/Alcohol Dependency

If someone you know is becoming dependent on alcohol or drugs, you’ll see several signs:

  • They need more and more of the substance or alcohol to get the same effect they used to get with a smaller dose
  • Even though they know their substance use is affecting their family or themselves psychologically and physically, they still keep using
  • They experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using
  • They pull away from recreational or social activities they used to enjoy
  • They spend much of their time getting the substance, using it, and recovering from using

A few symptoms of dependence on alcohol or substances:

  • They get high or drunk regularly
  • They lie about how much they are using
  • They believe they need to drink or use to have fun

The Guide also covers Eating Disorders, Learning Disabilities, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Disorders, Schizophrenia/Bipolar and other Disorders & Autism

Finding Support

When someone realizes that their loved one is showing worrisome signs of mental illness, they may not know where they can turn. They may also feel confused about how to support them.

Before lining up support services, the person should show their own love and support, and find out if their loved one is already getting help. If not, they should let them know help is available. If the question of mental health comes up, they can respond to their loved one, listen to their ideas, and offer to help them with daily tasks. It’s also vital to include them in family gatherings.

They should treat those who have mental health issues with dignity and compassion. They should also educate others, so they know what mental illness is and what it isn’t.

Finding support may be a challenge. If their loved one is suicidal, they can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). If the situation isn’t an emergency, they can schedule an appointment with the loved one’s primary healthcare provider or pediatrician. Find a services locator online for behavioral health providers. There are several, with resources for specific types of mental health issues.

Local Services

  • Crisis hotlines and warm lines
  • Crisis assistance listening line
  • Kid Talk, a warm line children can call for support
  • Local domestic violence shelter and hotline
  • Mobile crisis services
  • Narcotics Anonymous, where they can learn about a family member’s substance addiction
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Support Groups, Hospital/Facility Care, Organizations, Emergency Care and who treats Mental Illness are covered in depth

If you have any students that exhibiting signs of mental illness this guide may help them. It may also help you recognize some of the signs as you counsel your students. Here is a link: