If you or someone you are with is experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 right away. If you are assisting someone in an emergency, have dialed 911 and you are safe, stay with the person until help arrives. If you are able to transport someone safely, you can also take them to the nearest Emergency Room for assistance.


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7/365 at 1-800-273-8255.

You can also text SCHOOL to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor by text message through Crisis Text Line.

LGBTQIA+ youth in crisis can call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386.

Get Screened

If you are concerned about your emotions, attention, or behavior, taking an online screen is quick way to see if what you’re experiencing might be signs of a problem. MHA National has developed a screen for young people aged 11-17. Take the screen today to get a quick snapshot of your mental health.

Coping at School

COVID-19 has made everything different and you may be finding it difficult being back in school for in-person full-time learning. It makes sense if you feel like you’re having a difficult time adjusting or you’re having some extra worries. Here are some things you can do to increase your feeling of safety at school.

Identify adults you trust: Maybe it’s a teacher, a coach, school counselor, or cafeteria worker – whoever it is at school who makes you feel safe. This is especially important for students of color or LGBTQIA+ youth who may feel like their peers can’t offer them the understanding they need.

Tell someone about your worries: Talk to a friend, a teacher, your school counselor, or your parents. Whoever you feel comfortable with. If you’re not ready to talk to someone, try writing it down. Expressing our emotions helps us feel some relief from them.

Keep a grounding item: “Grounding” is a way of keeping our minds present – in the here and now. It can help whenever we feel overwhelmed by any emotion. A grounding item is a physical object that you can touch that helps keep your mind in the here and now. Some examples are a smooth rock to keep in your pocket, fidget toys, or a bracelet. Let your teacher know ahead so that it is a grounding item so they don’t think it’s a toy and take it away.

Find more resources in MHA National’s Back to School 2021 Toolkit. There are also school mental health resources available from Crisis Text Line here.

Youth Advisory Board

The Mental Health America of the Northern Suburbs (MHANS) Youth Advisory Board is a group of teen representatives from area high schools across the Northern Suburbs. Youth Board members help advise MHANS on mental health issues that are important to teens as well as help spread the word about positive mental health in their school and communities. Youth Board members have a leadership role in our annual Middle and High School Essay & Multimedia Contest by selecting the topic and serving as judges. We are looking for individuals who are interested in mental health issues and how it affects teens and their families, if this is of interest than this board may be for you. This program can provide a wide array of opportunities in the areas of leadership, community organizing, and networking with other teens and helping to change attitudes about mental illness. If you are interested in learning more about the Youth Advisory Board, please click the link below.

Join the Youth Advisory Board

Become an ambassador for mental health in your school and community.

Annual Essay and Multimedia Contest for High School and Middle School Students

Details of the 2022 contest will be announced shortly.

We thank our annual contest sponsor, Yellowbrick.

A Selection of Artwork from the Contest, 2019-2021