1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »Atchison
  4. »4-H Youth Development
  5. »mental_health
  6. »mental health

Atchison County


4-H Survey 20020

DOWNLOAD Survey Graphicteens_talk_mental  health _awareness 

teen holding poster with mental health facts       Key findings from the survey include:

  • 81% of teens say mental health is a significant issue for young people in the U.S.
  • 55% of teens say they’ve experienced anxiety, 45% excessive stress, and 43% depression
  • 71% of those surveyed say school work makes them feel anxious or depressed
  • 65% of those surveyed say uncertainty about the future makes them feel anxious or depressed
  • Teens report feeling more pressured to hide their feelings rather than do drugs  Approximately 45% say that they try to ignore their feelings or spend more time alone when they are dealing with mental health issues
    • 67% feel pressure to keep feelings to themselves
    • 67% pretend to feel better to not worry anyone
    • 65% deal with my feelings on their own
  • Teens today report spending 75% of their waking hours (approx. 9 hours each day) on screens during COVID-19
  • 46% of teens reported social media as their most common outlet for learning about coping mechanisms for mental health and 43% follow or support someone on social media who openly talks about their mental health issues
  • 82% of teens are calling on America to talk more openly and honestly about mental health issues in this country
  • 79% of teens surveyed wish there was an inclusive environment or safe space for people in school to talk about mental health. 70% wish their school taught them more about mental health and coping mechanism



 Learn More download this link


♥   Ask a friend how they are feeling

♥  Listen and let your friend  express their thoughts

♥  Share hope by not walking away.  Offer support and connect to HELP and resources

♥  Talk and tell.  Remind others at school, 4-H and  in community that is okay to not feel okay.

♥  Act in your community. Share this message with others

walletc cardSMHSA

 Download Wallet Card English            Wallet Card Spanish

Stress Reduction techniques
Want  To  Know  How  to  Help  A  friend
Want  To  Know  How  to  Help  A  Friend 2
Download                     Learn More @ NAMI website

Youth mental health resources:

● You Matter

● Youth Suicide Prevention

● The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+)

● National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

● National Institute of Mental Health: Child and Adolescent Mental Health

● NDSU References and Resources for Addressing Youth Issues Publication

Apps for youth to promote mental health:

● Calm: Mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises

● Happify: Good-mood training program

● Daylio: Mood tracker and journal



Learn More  About  The Tools Below. Source: Mind The Elephant
Autism SocietyIncreases public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the autism spectrum, advocating for appropriate services and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services LocatorFind alcohol/drug abuse or mental health treatment facilities and programs around the country.
National Eating Disorders AssociationNEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.
National Alliance on Mental IllnessNAMI is the foundation for hundreds of NAMI State Organizations, affiliates and volunteer leaders who work in local communities across the country to raise awareness and provide essential and free education, advocacy and support group programs.
Active MindsEmpowers students to speak openly and change the perception about mental health on college campuses in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking.
Bring Change 2 MindEnding the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness through widely distributed Public Education Materials based on the latest scientific insights and measured for effectiveness.
Mental Health AmericaNonprofit with over a century of advocacy, public education, and delivery of programs and services dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives.
MentalHealth.govCreated by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
National Institute of Mental HealthThe mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.
The Balanced Mind FoundationGuides families raising children with mood disorders to the answers, support, and stability they seek.
Families for Depression AwarenessSupports families through the treatment process and assists in navigating through the mental health system on behalf of loved ones.
International Mental Health Research OrganizationThe mission of IMHRO is to alleviate human suffering from mental illness by funding scientific research into causes, prevention and new treatments. The goal of research is to lead to cures, with a focus on schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and depression.
International Bipolar FoundationNon profit organization whose mission is to eliminate Bipolar Disorder through the advancement of research, to promote and enhance care and support services, and to erase associated stigma through public education.
Depression and Bipolar Support AllianceDBSA is a leading patient-directed national organization focusing on the most prevalent mental illnesses through peer-based, recovery-oriented, empowering services.
Depression Recovery GroupsProvides live, online support groups for those who are living with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. Online meetings are Confidential, Convenient, and Low Cost.
scrabblehope8 ways to foster hope in your daily life

Fostering hope and building resiliency are key to your mental and emotional health. Here are a few things you can do to build more hope into your daily life. Have you ever heard the phrase “the glass is always half full?” It’s a popular expression some people use to convey hopefulness and optimism. However, “looking at the glass half full” isn’t always easy. Feeling positive about the future (optimism) can be good for your mental and physical health.

Here are some things you can do to foster hope in your daily life:

  • Think positive: concentrating on the positive and looking for the good in a situation can help you feel better about things.
  • Look at the big picture: taking a step back from the small stuff to look at the big picture can help you see things in a new way. Putting things in perspective can help you shift your outlook on life.
  • Focus on the future: thinking ahead about how things will change — and how you’d like them to change — can remind you that things won’t be this way forever. Try to think of things you can do to shape your own future (e.g. set goals, identify priorities, etc.).
  • Be inspired: it may be helpful to listen to your favorite music, read an uplifting story or watch an inspirational movie. Learning about other people’s stories can show you that there can be positives in even the most difficult situations.
  • Celebrate your success: try to acknowledge your achievements and the fact that you’ve made it through every challenge up until now. Try not to dwell on negative self-talk and remember that it’s OK when things don’t work out as planned, too. (This can help you build resilience to tackle whatever the future holds for you.)
  • Be patient: everyone has good days and bad days. Try to remember that things can and will get better. It may just take a little time for things to get sorted out.
  • Get involved: lending a hand (e.g. volunteering your time) can help you spread the message of hope so others, including yourself, can nurture it.
  • Talk about it: reaching out to a parent/caregiver, teacher, extension  agent, coach,  friend or other important person in your life may help you find sources of hope. If you’re struggling to find hope in your daily life, you can always call SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) ( or TTY: 1-800-487-4889).                                                                                                                                                                                The  Helpline is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. 

Fostering hope is essential for your mental and emotional well-being. Remember that hope is all around and you can get through what ever is going on in your life. Try to think positive, look at the big picture and get help when you need it.


How to calm down when you’re stressed

Are you stressed out? These mindfulness tips can help you calm down right now.

If you’re stressed about school, work, relationships or anything else that’s going on in your life, you’re not alone. You may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious or upset about a problem — or even more than one. Whatever’s going on for you, it’s comforting to know there are things you can do to help yourself calm down. Here are some positive coping strategies you can use in the moment:

  • Ground yourself: grounding techniques can help you regain control of your mind and body. Try using your senses to feel more connected to your current environment. Focus on what you can see, touch, hear, taste and smell.
  • Breathe deepbreathing exercises can help your body relax and your mind focus on one thing at a time. Try taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Use your imagination: sit or lie down in a safe, comfortable spot and use your mind to go somewhere else. Close your eyes and imagine you’re in a favorite place, or make up a game to play (like counting sheep) to distract yourself.
  • Open up: when you’re upset, you may want to spend time on your own. If you can, try to hang out with friends or family, too. Sometimes, talking about a problem with someone you trust can help you start feeling better.
  • Take a break: be kind to yourself and do something else for a while. You could play video games, watch a movie, listen to music, spend time with a pet, take a warm bath or meditate. Taking time out can help you move your mind off whatever is causing you stress.
  • Express yourself: you can try painting, writing, sculpting, singing, dancing or doing something else that helps you get your feelings out. Having an outlet to express yourself — and concentrate on a project — can help you feel some relief.
  • Have fun: look for something that makes you smile (e.g. a funny video, picture of friends/family, etc.) and take a few minutes to enjoy it. Laughing can help you unwind and focus on something fun.
  • Work it out: when you exercise, your body releases chemicals that can make you feel good (called endorphins). You could try going for a walk/run, playing a sport or doing yoga to channel your energy into something positive. You could always ask a friend to work out with you!
  • Take a nap: taking a few minutes to rest your mind and body can help you cope with stress. Sleep can also give your brain a chance to process and reset, making it a little easier to manage what’s on your mind.
  • Get support: if you’re struggling, it’s important to get support. Find someone you can talk to right away, such as a friend, parent/caregiver,  4-H leader, coach, church  youth  group leader or teacher.  They can help you calm down, even if you’re really upset. Remember there  are  many  people in your life who care about you and are there to listen 24/7. 

If you’re stressed out, remember there are always things you can do to feel better. When things get rough, taking a deep breath, giving your mind a break and getting support can help you calm down in the moment.

teen isolated  from friends graphic

Digital detox: How to unplug and recharge

Why detox? Switching off from your screens has many physical and mental health benefits:

  • improved relationships with friends and family
  • better sleep habits
  • better eating habits
  • increased focus at school or work
  • boosted self-esteem
  • heightened independence
  • reduced stress and anxiety

How to detox:  When you disconnect from technology, you’ll be able to focus more on the things you may not have the time or energy to do otherwise.

Here are a few tips for making your digital detox work: Pick a time: decide on how long you’ll be away from your devices. You could try a day or week at a time.

  • Give notice: let your friends, family and followers know you’ll be taking a break from your devices. It may be a good idea to provide them with a way to reach you in case of emergency.
  • Plan ahead: it’s a good idea to think ahead to how you’ll keep yourself busy during your digital detox. Here are some ideas:
    • spend quality time with family
    • hang out with friends
    • read a book
    • enjoy nature
    • pick up a new hobby or sport
    • catch up on schoolwork
    • write in a journal
    • try something creative like singing, dancing or painting
    • volunteer your time
    • take a nap
    • experiment with a new workout routine
  • Shut down: when you’re ready to start your digital detox, turn off your devices and put them in a safe place where they’ll be out of sight, out of mind.
  • Stick with it: the fear of missing out can be strong, but it’s important to stick to your goal. You’ll still be able to catch up with family and friends (and build more personal connections along the way).
  • Get support: it may be helpful to try a digital detox with a friend or relative so you have someone to go through the experience with. (You can help keep each other on track, too.)

Remember:  If you can’t completely log off your devices, there are other things you can do to reduce your reliance on technology. You can limit the amount of time per day you spend looking at the screen, turn off  apps/email/push notifications or reserve your devices for weekend/emergency use only.

Note:  The resource below was designed by Kids Help Line. The help line phone serves Canada only.  We appreciate the helpful  informational  graphic shared by Kids HelpLine.




Friendships are an important part of life. Friends add enjoyment to our lives and provide comfort in times of need. But living with a mental health condition can make finding friends a little more difficult. Here are some ideas on what to do when you meet others.

male teen friends graphic

How To Meet New People

Meeting new people can be nerve-wrecking, and a mental health condition can make you more insecure and less confident. 

Being in groups of people may be stressful. Symptoms of some mental health conditions can have physical symptoms that are sometimes difficult to control, or you simply may not feel like going out and being around others. 

While it may be difficult, putting yourself in situations to meet others can provide you with not only a group of people to hang out with but also offer a great support network if you need it. 

A good place to start is just by idenityfing what you enjoy. It doesn't matter whether it's sports, comics, theatre, movies or hiking, because other people will enjoy it as well. Consider joining an intramural sports team, art class, book club or volunteer. Most communities and neighborhoods have lots of activities to take advantage of. If you’re looking to meet people with a particular interest, see if there are Meetup groups near you.

You can also attend peer support groups to meet people who have experienced similar things and are in the same stage of life as you. This support can provide you with insights and tips for relationships of your own. Reach out to out your local NAMI Affiliate to learn more about support groups in your area.





Should You Tell Your Friends About Your Condition?

It’s ultimately up to you to decide to tell. Some people will benefit from telling many friends. Others may benefit by telling a couple of close friends and waiting to tell others. You are an expert on your own mental well-being and can decide for yourself.

If you're stressed about whether to tell other people, you might feel better if you write down a list of pros and cons. Maybe some people won't understand. But maybe you can also see benefits to telling the people who will understand. If you're afraid, the list of pros can remind you of the rewards of overcoming your fear. Learn more about disclosing to others.

Maintaining Friendships

Some friendships happen naturally and some need a little more effort. It is helpful to take the initiative when it comes to maintaining your friendships. If you want to start a friendship, don’t wait for the other person to reach out to you. Post a message on Facebook, call them to share a story about something you have previously talked about or send a quick text message about something you both enjoy doing.

Remember that having good friends means being a good friend. Listen to your friends when they talk about what is going on in their life and offer advice the best you can. Keep their secrets and be a trustworthy confidant.

If you decide to tell your friend about your mental health condition, don’t be frustrated if they do not understand right away. Answer any questions they might have and remember that they are just trying to comprehend your experience. If they still are unable to handle it or pull away from you, be thankful for your time with them and consider it a learning experience.

Making friends isn’t always easy. Test the waters by acting slowly and don’t be discouraged if every person you meet doesn’t turn out to be a best friend. Every friendship, whether short or lifelong, teaches us something and helps to shape the person we become.

Youth mental health resources:

● You Matter

● Youth Suicide Prevention

● The Trevor Project (LGBTQ+)

● National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

● National Institute of Mental Health: Child and Adolescent Mental Health

● NDSU References and Resources for Addressing Youth Issues Publication

Apps for youth to promote mental health:

● Calm: Mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises

● Happify: Good-mood training program

● Daylio: Mood tracker and journal


Original  source:https://kidshelpphone.ca/wp-content/uploads/KHP-Something-on-your-mind-2019.pdf. Above graphic developed by Kids  Helpline Canada. Canadian help line infromation has been deleted to avoid  confusion for US youth seeking assitance.

Suicide can be prevented

There is no foolproof way to know for sure that a friend or family member is thinking about hurting themselves. But by recognizing warning signs and taking action, we can help. Most people who are suicidal show warning signs. Those close to them may unaware of the significance of these signals or are unsure of what to do about them.

While the topic of suicide may be uncomfortable to  think or  talk about, research shows that asking if someone is suicidal does not incite or increase thoughts of suicide.  Remember having the conversation can be uncomfortable, but it could also save a life.

These warning signs of suicide demand IMMEDIATE attention

  • Threats to hurt oneself, or talking about wanting to hurt oneself
  • Talking or writing about suicide or death, when these actions are out of the ordinary for the person
  • Obtaining or looking for ways to hurt oneself by seeking access to means of suicide
  • Giving away prized possessions and other personal things

What to do


Go to an emergency room or mental health walk-in clinic. Make sure you are not alone until professional help arrives, and be sure that any firearms, alcohol, drugs, or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt are removed. 

Resources To Share

Sound Living Audio Interview  State of Teen Mental Health Part 1

Dr. Elaine Johannes & Wade Weber

Sound Living Audio Interview

Dr. Elaine Johannes & Wade Weber

Teaching Mental Health Literacy (adult resource)

Understanding Stress (elementary)

Kids Help Phone (Lots of helpful resources.  Note: Phone number  and  program is based in Canada.)

Helpful Tips for 4-H Clubs

Resources below were created in Canada. However, mental  health  knows no boundaries and we  think Kansas 4-Hers  and leaders will  find them helpfull, too.

 Tip sheets

Eight tip sheets with important and usable information are available for downloading and printing. Four tip sheets are geared towards volunteer leaders and four focus on youth members.

FOR MEMBERS               


4-H as an organization can youth and leaders to achieve a state of well-being where they are able to reach their own potential and make positive contributions to their community.  Additional  information will  be  added to  this  site. Links below  may  be  helpful as  we  further  our  discussion and add more tools to our resource chest.