Being healthy means you should take care of your mind as well as your body. Emotions are a normal part of life, but if they become overwhelming and interfere with your life, it's time to take action. NBC Learn, in partnership with Centene Corporation, explains signs that you may need help keeping a healthy mind and how to get the help you need.
MORGAN RADFORD reporting: Hey there guys, I'm Morgan Radford and it's time to get healthy!
When you think of health, you probably think about things like your strength, your fitness and maybe even what you eat. But it also means having a healthy mind. Did you know it's completely normal to feel sad or to feel nervous? Sometimes, I do. But the thing is, if that feeling doesn't go away and it actually starts interfering with your schoolwork or your daily activities, just know that you're not alone. Each year, one in five kids will need some type of help with these kinds of feelings.
And you know what else? These kinds of feelings can get better with the right kind of help.
Dr. ALEXANDRA HAMLET: My name is Dr. Alexandra Hamlet. I'm a psychologist at the Child Mind Institute and I help kids with their problems, their big feelings, their thoughts and how they interact with life. We want to treat our brains well and mental health is really the act of doing that. Just like any physical illness, right, you can have a sneeze or a cough and it doesn't necessarily have to mean that you are sick, and sometimes you can, you can get a cold or the flu, it's the same thing with mental health.
RADFORD: If you often feel overwhelmed by your schoolwork or your personal life, it could be a sign that you should talk to someone. If you find that you want to be alone a lot of the time or you don't want to talk to your friends or you really don't want to do things that you used to find fun, that's also another sign.
HAMLET: They might change the way that they eat and sleep, either sleep too little, sleep too much, or maybe eat a lot, or not enough, right. These are all some markers that someone might be struggling with mental health issues.
RADFORD: So what do you do if you're feeling this way? You find someone and you tell them. It could be your parent, or it could be another "kind adult" like a teacher, a coach, a neighbor, really anyone you trust. Just go up and ask for help.
HAMLET: Just know that there are a lot of people are out there that kinda get it. And they're really open to helping and once you really start that process and peel that band-aid off, you'll start to feel better about it.
RADFORD: So what can you do to keep your mind healthy? Doctors say that one thing that can help keep your mind healthy is to not compare yourself to others. And that can sometimes be hard. For example, the pictures that some people post on social media, those people may not be as perfect or as fun as their pictures make them seem. Sometimes we can feel left out when we're not a part of those pictures or part of those activities.
HAMLET: If they're seeing other people having a great time, and they don't feel as involved, that could be when it gets a little tricky
RADFORD: All right, so here are some other things you can do to take care of your mental health. Be sure to eat and sleep well, because lack of sleep and nutritious food, that can make anyone feel bad. And don't be embarrassed if you're struggling. And, if you want to be a good friend, you can look out for your friend’s mental health as well. If they suddenly seem very different, they’re not acting like they usually do, or they’re not as involved, or they’re harder to be around, they may be someone who needs some help.
HAMLET: I think you can talk to the friend and let them know that you're really concerned and that you really would like to reach out on their behalf to get them help.
RADFORD: Once again go to an adult you can trust. And just like with other illnesses, doctors can help, too. Talk about your feelings with people who you care about. Bad feelings, they just keep growing inside until you let them escape by talking them out. Your mind and your body will be happy that you did.