It’s not uncommon for teenagers to feel sad, frustrated, and lonely sometimes. These emotions can feel so overwhelming that it affects the way you think and behave. Good mental health is important throughout all stages in life, but finding ways to manage good mental health in your teens can help you cope better later in life.
Mental health is just as important as physical health, but it’s typically harder to see. Mental health challenges are not always obvious, right? Sometimes they’re an internal challenge that you wrestle with, and more often than not, you probably don’t have answers for. Tapping into your moods can be a great starting point for identifying the poor mental health and catching it early before things start affecting your life in a negative way.
If you’re a deaf teen, you probably encounter challenges a little differently from your friends. You may feel as though you don’t fit in or that you struggle in areas that your friends do not. These feelings are perfectly normal, and you know what, they’re also really common amongst deaf or hard of hearing teens. There are options available, if you know where to look.
The Importance of Good Mental Health
When you feel happy and confident, it’s easier to focus on school and excel academically. You get better sleep, feel physically better, and are more social.
Better mental health will:
- Improve your marks at school
- Make it easier to make friends
- Let you sleep easier at night
- Give you the energy to enjoy other activities
- Improve your relationships with your family.
Of course, it isn’t as easy as just choosing to be mentally healthy. There are a lot of things that can contribute to poor mental health:
- Not getting enough exercise
- Not getting enough sleep at night
- Feeling stressed or overwhelmed at school
- Feeling as though you don’t fit in.
Adding to this, there are also issues such as having a chemical or hormonal imbalance, which can cause you to have mental health issues without any environmental pressures. If you think this might be you, try talking to your parents or the local GP for support.
How’s Your Mental Health?
As a teenager there are a lot of social and academic responsibilities you need to deal with. Being deaf can make it even harder. If you feel as though you don’t fit in, every interaction can be more stressful and difficult. You may not even realise that your mental health is poor, perhaps you’re too busy dealing with other challenges to notice.
Most of you will already have a team of supporters in your corner. You’ll have:
who have a vested interest in your well-being. These people play a vital role in your development, but there is more support available.
Let’s take a minute to think about your mental health, right at this very moment.
Do you have trouble:
- Keeping up socially with your friends at school
- Expressing the challenges you are facing and prefer to keep quiet about them
- Finding the right support to help you out on a bad day
- Admitting that you might need help, even if it’s just a little bit.
If you have these things under control, then YAY for you! Keep up the good work! We would love to hear what works for you, please share your best tips with us in the comments below.
If you don’t have these things under control, then here’s how we can help:
- Connect with us and we’ll put you in touch with fellow teens who are deaf or hard of hearing
- Check out out programs and workshops, offered all around Australia, and come along to meet other teens while learning some great strategies to help you achieve bigger things
- Reach out to one of our mentors and have a one-on-one chat about the challenges you are facing.
Are you wondering why will this help? Imagine this, we can help you create a game plan for managing your feelings and your mental health. We can share strategies and techniques that have worked well for others. Having a wider network that you can rely on and extra people in your corner can help.
Remember, as a deaf or hard of hearing teen – you aren’t alone. There are over 5,000 deaf or hard of hearing teens across Australia. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we can all connect (online or IRL) and chat about our day, our plans, our challenges.
Getting Help for Your Mental Health
Reaching out to others in a similar situation can be a great way to find support as you ride the wave of teenage years. We can connect you with other deaf teens who have a first-hand understanding of the the exact issues you are facing. You can find out how others deal with their day-to-day challenges and what works best for them.
We can also connect you with our mentoring team. We have an amazing group of young adults, with varying degrees of hearing issues, ready and waiting to share their experience with you. You can speak to John, the first cochlear implantee to be qualified as a Tennis Australia coach. Or chat to Sam, who represented Australia at the Deaflympics in 2012 and met deaf people from all around the world.
You can dream big and achieve great things. Getting there might have obstacles, but maintaining good mental health will help you succeed.
So What’s Next?
Take a look at some of the programs we offer. If you’re interested we can help put a NDIS plan together for you.
Life Goals and Skills – we explore a whole range of topics, from communication & conflict resolution, to school and school subject choices and social media.
Rock My World – join us for a fun day out – we usually do things like Film Making to Tree Top Adventures.
Filmmaking and Editing Workshops – lights, camera, action – this supports any deaf or hard of hearing teen interested in making movies. We held out first Film Festival this year – you can read more about it here.
Primary2Secondary School Sessions – we cover a range of things, from making new friends to dealing with bullying and simply finding your way round.