Where can I find help now?
It’s hot and summer is in full swing! While many think of this time of year as a welcome break from the daily challenges associated with the school year, for some, the summer can be a time of increased loneliness and isolation. During the school year, kids see one another regularly and have consistent access to trusted resources, such as counselors, peers, and teachers. When the school year ends, those resources temporarily disappear. But that doesn’t mean there is nowhere to turn for help and support. In fact, there are plenty of great online resources that can help you get through tough times.
Here is a brief list of a few online platforms that we at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) suggest checking out, especially focused on providing mental health support:
- Q Chat Space provides live, online discussion groups for LGBTQ+ and questioning teens ages 13 to 19. Conversations are facilitated by experienced staff who work at LGBTQ+ centers around the United States. While these facilitators are not mental health professionals, input from the online community can be a helpful, supportive resource for those facing mental health challenges.
- BetterHelp is the country’s largest online therapy platform. Their mission is to make professional therapy accessible, affordable, and convenient, so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime and anywhere.
- Teen Counseling is a network of licensed, accredited, and experienced therapists who can help parents and children with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, relationships, bullying, trauma, and more.
- 7 Cups of Tea is an on-demand emotional health service and online therapy provider. Their technology anonymously and securely connects people to trained, compassionate “listeners” in one-on-one chats.
Whether the challenges you face feel like big, complex issues or are smaller questions and concerns, help is available from trusted resources.
There are also other simple steps you can take to feel connected and grounded in your daily life. For example, consider maintaining a schedule throughout the summer. Being consistent with wake-up times and exercise can be a helpful tool in daily life. Additionally, consider adding formal activities to your schedule, such as attending camp in these final weeks before school returns, planning times to hang out with friends, or playing a team sport.
Wherever you turn for help and connection, always know that NRS is here, too. Our team is available to listen and help 24/7. The resources we’ve shared above, as well as NRS, provide a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment to turn when feeling vulnerable, scared or unstable. Rather than battling the summer days alone, lean on others who can be trusted to support and provide a listening ear.
Special thank you to Caroline Cummins from Colgate University for the collaboration on this blog!