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What is Mental Health?

EVERYONE has mental health, the same way EVERYONE has physical health.

The brain is a part of the body. So, just like our muscles and bones, we can take care of our brains and make them stronger.

If someone has strong mental health, they are able to feel good, and act on their emotions in healthy ways.


Our mental health affects the way we think, feel, and act. It also can change the way we handle stress, how we connect with others, and how we make choices. 


Our mental health is different depending on who we are and what we are going though.

Mental health is important to take care of because it touches every part of our lives.


No matter who you are, or what you have been through, there are things that you can do to improve your mental health!

What is Mental Health?

Play the video to learn more about mental health from Karen, a friend of NAMI Chicago!

Taking Care of Our Mental Health

Gus's Wellness Guide


There are so many things that we can do to take care of our minds and our bodies to strengthen our mental health. Check out the wellness guides below for tips from two of our experts, Gus and Copper!

Copper's Wellness Guide


What to do When You Don't Feel Your Best, or You Are Worried About a Friend

Our mental health changes as we grow, and sometimes we do not always feel our best, or we notice a friend is not feeling their best. If you notice that you are not feeling okay, or you are worried about a friend, the best thing to do is find support!

It can be hard to tell when it is the right time to ask for support. The truth is, there is no "right time"! It is always okay to ask for help. All of your emotions matter - the good ones and the hard ones. 


If someone tells you your feelings are not important or makes you feel badly, then that person is not the best person to support you. That happens sometimes, and that is a sign to ask someone else who can support you!


When Should I Talk to an Adult?

It can be tough to tell when to talk to an adult or ask for help. If you are wondering

if you should talk to someone, then you probably should - trust your gut! If you notice any of the

signs on the next slide in yourself, a friend, an adult you know, or if anything is causing you to worry, that is

a great time to talk to an adult.

How is the Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting Mental Health?


The past few years have been really hard. Lots of kids had a tough time with their mental health when we all had to stay home, and lots of kids are still struggling today. Staying at home meant missing out on seeing friends, sleeping too much or not enough, and spending more time using screens for school. And all of those things can affect your mental health. If you’ve been having a hard time--you are not alone. 44% of kids in Chicago have experienced an increase in at least one mental or behavioral health  problem during the pandemic. But don't worry--help is out there. It’s okay to ask a trusted grown up for help when you’re not feeling your best.



Doing the things we enjoy and the things that make us feel good now (and in the future), helps us keep our minds and bodies STRONG.

Try some of the activities below to practice taking care of your mental health!

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